Chip and pin cards go missing in the mail

15 September 2004
The number of credit cards being stolen by thieves is on the increase, as the UK's big banks aim to send out millions of replacement chip and pin cards ahead of the January 1st changeover deadline.

From January 1st the UK's shoppers will be asked by retailers to type in a pin number rather than sign a receipt when purchasing goods.

The Guardian reports that thousands of the new cards are going missing, intercepted by criminals

The credit card industry lost a massive £43.4 million to "mail non-receipt fraud" in 2003 and is expecting higher losses this year as the payment system switches over.

Police stations in London are getting "three to four" people a day reporting credit card thefts and many victims were unaware they had been sent a new card initially, as their old one still had months or years to run.

The majority of cards are sent out using Royal Mail's standard service, which reported the loss of more than 14 million items of post last year.

A spokeswoman for the Association for Payment Clearing Services, the body that polices the industry, told the newspaper: "There is a feeling that there is a concerted effort among criminals to get more money out of the system ahead of chip and pin's introduction.

"When all shoppers are tapping in a pin number rather than signing for goods, it will make life harder for thieves. Until everyone has the new cards, we expect mail non-receipt fraud to rise even more than the 17 per cent it rose last year."
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