In a bid to reduce bureaucracy and provide more consistency when reporting card, check and online banking fraud, banks and financial institutions will now be the first point of contact for UK victims when reporting these types of fraud.
The new rule became effective as of April 1, 2007, and applies to victims in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In most cases, consumers will be required to report instances of these types of fraud straight to their bank or building society rather than the police. Responsibility will then lie with the financial institution to contact the police and pass on the relevant details.
The aim of the new rule is to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in fraud recording and to streamline the reporting, recording and investigation of such fraud. Prior to this change of rule, the victim would have had to report the matter first to their bank, then to the police, and then back to the bank to pass on relevant details given to them by the police. The whole process will now be done entirely by the financial institution.
Apacs statistics show that there were just over 700,000 cases of card fraud in 2006, with the average loss per case amounting to GBP608.
Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, said: This change simply removes an additional level of reporting and will provide greater consistency for the reporting of fraud losses in the UK. Apacs will provide the Home Office with the industry’s fraud figures for check, plastic and online banking fraud losses – these losses will then be published as part of the government’s annual crime figures, thereby giving a more realistic picture of the scale of this type of crime.
Fraud other than card, check and online banking fraud will be dealt with by the police in the same way that it is currently.