Some 216.1 million worth of card frauds were committed in the first six months of 2013.Photo: Alamy By Kyle Caldwell, and agencies 3:09PM BST 04 Oct 2013 Comments Fraud losses on UK credit and debit cards have risen by 17pc year-on-year after a rise in a new form of telephone scam that involves con men posing as bank staff or police. Some 216.1 million worth of card frauds were committed in the first six months of this year, according to Financial Fraud Action UK, which prevents crime on behalf of the financial services industry. This has been mainly driven by a sharp increase in frauds where the card holder is not present, such as when purchases are made over the phone, online or by mail order. This type of fraud has seen a 23pc rise year-on-year, resulting in 142 million worth of losses. A new form of telephone scam called vishing has proved popular with con men, the fraud watchdog warned. It involves a fraudster posing on the phone as someone from a bank or building society fraud investigation team, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider. An automated system calls the unsuspecting victim. Once they pick up the receiver the criminal, posing as a representative of a reputable organisation, clams an urgent need for their debit or credit card. In a cruelly ironic twist, this typically involves telling the bank customer their card has been cloned and fraud is about to be enacted on their account. Related Articles 06 Jun 2013 The crook urges the victim to act straight away to avoid the disaster. If he or she can sense doubt, they urge their victim to put down the phone and ring back. However, the criminal simply stays on the line and either pretends to answer the phone or passes the receiver to another member of the gang. It may sound far-fetched, but the scam is so believable that four in ten people fail to see through tricks, Financial Fraud Action said. Once the details have been handed over, the criminal simply empties the account.
UK’s powerful Daily Mail faces a political storm
It’s not the paper’s conservative bent that bothers them _ in Britain, unlike the United States, newspapers are expected to have a strong political stance that comes through in news coverage as well as editorials. But many feel the Mail went too far when it angered Ed Miliband, leader of the left-of-center Labour Party, by running a story about Miliband’s late father, a leading socialist intellectual, headlined “the man who hated Britain.” The Mail warned readers that “Red Ed,” who is Britain’s main opposition leader and hopes to be its next prime minister, had inherited father Ralph’s commitment to class warfare. Miliband wrote a rebuttal defending his dad, who came to Britain as a teenage refugee from the Nazis and served with the Royal Navy in World War II. “I loved him and he loved Britain,” Miliband wrote of his father, who died in 1994. “I know they say `you can’t libel the dead,’ but you can smear them.” The paper’s attack has won Miliband wide sympathy, and has brought the rare spectacle of politicians from all parties criticizing the Daily Mail. Former Conservative Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine accused the Mail of “carrying politics to an extent that is just demeaning.” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, said Thursday that “if anyone excels in denigrating and often vilifying a lot about modern Britain, it’s the Daily Mail.” Clegg had a point _ the Mail exudes a deep ambivalence about British society. Its successful formula is to offer readers a mix of anxiety and reassurance, spiced with a dash of sex. Journalism professor and Guardian media columnist Roy Greenslade said the Mail is often described as the paper that “speaks for Middle England _ that segment of the working class which has middle-class aspirations and wishes to defend them against all comers.” “It is vaguely anti-immigrant. It has opposed in the past social liberal moves such as gay rights,” he said. Among the things the Mail approves of are British troops, hardworking “mums and dads” and cute domestic animals. It dislikes unemployed “benefit scroungers” _ especially if they’re immigrants _ Brussels bureaucrats, badly behaved celebrities and left-wing politicians like Ed Miliband. In the newspaper’s pages, common foods regularly turn out to cause cancer _ or obesity _ and climate change is treated with skepticism. One recent headline had scientists saying “Global warning just half what we said,” while another read “World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just quarter what we thought.” Another article this week said global warming was “on pause.” Now the Mail itself has become the story. The furor began Saturday with the article excoriating Ralph Miliband for his Marxist views.