January 20, 2010 03:10 ET

Cardiff is UK’s Card Fraud Capital

YORK, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 20, 2010) - New research reveals that Cardiff is now the worst place in the UK for card fraud, knocking London off the top spot.

According to the annual Card Fraud Index by CPP, which identifies fraud hotspots across the country, Cardiff has leapt from fifth to first place since the index started in 2007. Card crime in the Welsh capital has increased by 17 per cent in the two last years, with over a third (37 per cent) having been a victim in the past.

While Cardiff took the lead, other hotspots for card fraud were London (35 per cent), Norwich (30 per cent), Southampton (28 per cent) and Leeds (27 per cent), which leaped from 12th position to fifth in just 12 months.

The report shows card fraud has increased by more than six per cent in the past two years, equating to nearly an extra 3 million victims (1). Currently over a quarter of adults now claim to have fallen victim – a reflection of the explosion of new scams fuelled by criminals.

Online fraud remains a huge problem, affecting a third of victims, while card cloning from cash points or Chip and PIN devices accounted for nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of cases. Worryingly, over a third (34 per cent) of Brits have no idea how their financial details were swiped by fraudsters. And almost half (43 per cent) only found out they had been defrauded when alerted by their bank.

The average sum fraudulently transacted is over £590, with one in six victims (16 per cent) reporting losses of over £1,000.

The study also reveals how fraudsters have been splashing out using their victims' cash. Over one in eight (13 per cent) had their money spent on electronic goods and one in ten on clothing, whilst some poor victims had fraudsters charging holidays to their accounts.

Despite almost a fifth of cardholders (19 per cent) admitting they are more worried about card fraud compared to last year, many confess to taking actions that put them at risk. One in six (16 per cent) has let their credit or debit cards out of their sight, or left their cards loose in their bags or pockets. A further one in eight admitted to writing down their card details, while one in ten have let others take out money on their behalf.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: "Our research shows that card fraud continues to affect more victims as fraudsters resort to increasingly sophisticated methods. At CPP we have seen high levels of Card ID theft, where criminals take over the running of another person's bank account – usually by changing the address details and then requesting a new card and genuine PIN to access the bank account. Presently speaking this account for half of our fraud cases.

"We urge all cardholders to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves to avoid falling victim to card criminals. When out and about never let your card out of your sight. It's also really important to check your bank statements regularly and thoroughly so you can spot any suspicious transactions. These are simple steps that are very effective in the fight against fraud. If something unusual does appear on your statement make sure you contact your bank or card protection company straight away. Card protection can give cardholders valuable peace of mind, helping them to cancel and replace their cards immediately and provide fraud victim support, should the worst happen."

Worst cities for card fraud:
City Percentage of people affected by card fraud at least once
Key (1) = position in fraud rankings
  2009 2008 2007
Cardiff 37 (1) 34 (2) 20 (5)
London 35 (2) 38 (1) 28 (1)
Norwich 30 (3) 25 (6) 19 (9)
Southampton 28 (4) 24 (7) 14
Leeds 27 (5) 19 19 (8)
Newcastle 25 (6) 16 9
Plymouth 24 (7) 22 (10) 16
Glasgow 24 (8) 31 (3) 20 (6)
Edinburgh 24 (9) 23 (9) 18 (10)
Nottingham 23 (10) 12 19 (7)
Birmingham 23 23 (8) 25 (2)
Brighton 23 27 (5) 12
Manchester 21 29 (4) 22 (4)
Bristol 20 18 22 (3)
Sheffield 17 14 18
Liverpool 15 19 14

Key statistics

  • Card fraud in Cardiff has increased by 17% since 2007

  • 37% of people in Cardiff have fallen victim to credit/debit card fraud at least once

  • Card fraud has risen by 8% since 2007

  • There have been 2,746,856 extra victims of card fraud nationally since 2007

  • 26% of Brits have fallen victim to card fraud at least once

  • 35% of Londoners have fallen victim at least once

  • 30% of people from Norwich have fallen victim at least once

  • 28% of people from Southampton have fallen victim at least once

  • 27% of people from Leeds have fallen victim at least once

  • 32% of people were targeted online

  • Card cloning from cash points or chip and pin devices affected 16.9% of victims

  • 34% don't know how they fell victim

  • 43% were only aware they had fallen victim when contacted by their bank

  • The average amount stolen was £592.69

  • 16% lost over £1,000

  • 13% had their money spent on electronic goods

  • 10% had their money spent on clothing

  • 7% had their money spent on holidays

  • 19% are more worried about card fraud than this time last year

  • 16% let a shop assistant take their card out of sight

  • 16% carry their cards loose in their pockets or bags

  • 12% have written down their card details

  • 10% have let others take money out on their behalf

Top tips from CPP to help avoid being a victim of card fraud

  1. Don't carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet – only carry the essential cards you need

  2. Don't leave belongings unattended while shopping

  3. Don't carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket

  4. If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company make sure you have their emergency loss reporting number

  5. Don't ever write down your PIN number

  6. Don't let a shop assistant take your debit/credit card out of sight – they could be copied or cloned

  7. Don't let someone else take money out on your behalf

  8. Check your receipts against your statements when you get home

  9. If you are concerned your cards may have been lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately to get the card cancelled

  10. Make sure your bank has up-to-date contact details for you, including your mobile phone number in case they need to check if transactions are genuine

Notes to Editor

(1) Card fraud has increased by 5.6% since 2007. The UK adult population according to ONS is 49,051,000. 5.6% of 49,051,000 is 2,746,856 people.

Research Methodology

Online research was carried out by Opinion Matters amongst 2,001 UK adults. The survey was taken from a self-selecting nationally representative panel. The research was conducted between the 27th November and 11th December 2009.

The survey was carried out amongst 183 people in Birmingham, 53 in Brighton, 102 in Bristol, 73 in Cardiff, 89 in Edinburgh, 80 in Glasgow, 101 in Leeds, 99 in Liverpool, 497 in London, 180 in Manchester, 85 in Newcastle, 74 in Norwich, 99 in Nottingham, 75 in Plymouth, 72 in Sheffield and 112 in Southampton and 27 people in Belfast.

The CPP Group Plc

The CPP Group Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business offering bespoke customer management solutions to multi-sector business partners designed to enhance their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty, whilst at the same time reducing cost to deliver improved profitability. 

This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary Life Assistance products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the anxieties associated with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

Whether our customers have lost their wallets, been a victim of identity fraud or looking for lifestyle perks, CPP can help remove the hassle from their lives leaving them free to enjoy life. Globally, our Life Assistance products and services are designed to simplify the complexities of everyday living whether these affect personal finances, home, travel, personal data or future plans. When it really matters, Life Assistance enables people to live life and worry less.

Established in 1980, CPP has 11 million customers and more than 200 business partners across Europe, North and South America and Asia Pacific and employs 2,000 employees who handle 16 million consumer sales and service conversations each year.

In 2008, Group revenue was £259.5 million, an increase of more than 15 per cent over the previous year. This is more than five times the sales level of 2000.

What We Do:

CPP provides a range of assistance products and services that allow our business partners to forge closer relationships with their customers.

We have a solution for many eventualities, including:

  • Insuring our customers' mobile phones
  • Protecting the payment cards in our customers' wallets and purses, should these be lost or stolen
  • Providing assistance and protection if a customer's keys are lost or stolen
  • Providing advice, insurance and assistance to protect customers against the insidious crime of identity fraud
  • Offering advice to people considering legal action and cover for the costs involved in taking action on a range of legal issues
  • Assisting customers with their travel emergencies
  • Monitoring the credit status of our customers

CPP is an award winning organisation:

  • Finalist in the National Insurance Fraud Awards, Counter Fraud Initiative of the Year category, 2009
  • Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team and Advisor of the Year categories, 2009
  • Named in the Sunday Times 2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100
  • Finalists in the National Business Awards, 3i Growth Strategy category, 2008
  • Finalist in the National Business Awards, Business of the Year category, 2007, 2009 and Highly Commended in 2008
  • Named in the Sunday Times 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 HSBC Top Track 250 companies
  • Regional winner of the National Training Awards, 2007
  • Winner of the BITC Health, Work and Well-Being Award, 2007
  • Highly Commended in the UK National Customer Service Awards, 2006
  • Winner of the Tamworth Community Involvement Award, 2006. Finalist in 2008
  • Highly Commended in The Press Best Link Between Business and Education, 2005 and 2006. Winner in 2007
  • Finalist in the National Business Awards, Innovation category, 2005

For more information on CPP click on www.cpp.co.uk

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange a time for interview
    with card fraud expert Sarah Blaney,
    please call Band & Brown Communications:
    Eoghan Hughes-020 7419 6976 / 07852 881 983
    Hester Decouz-020 7419 7339 / 07963 187029