Phone, internet and mail order fraud has fallen by 19% to £266.4m from 2008 to 2009, according to new figures from the UK Cards Association.

This type of fraud, called card-not-present fraud, fell from £328.4m to £266.4m. This is the first time that this type of fraud has shown a year-on-year decrease.

Chairman of the Fraud Control Steering Group, a fraud prevention group, David Cooper said: “Reasons behind the decrease in this type of fraud include the increasing use of sophisticated fraud screening detection tools by retailers and banks, as well as the continuing growth in the use of MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, by both online retailers and cardholders.”

The figures also show total fraud losses on UK cards fell by 28 per cent between 2008 and 2009 to £440.3m. It is the first time that card fraud has decreased since 2006.  This decrease has contributed to the 67% decrease in card fraud losses at UK retailers since 2004.

However, online banking fraud losses have risen by 14% from £52.5m to £59.7m. This increase is largely due to criminals using more sophisticated methods to target online banking customers through malware, which targets vulnerabilities in customers’ PCs, rather than the banks’ own systems that are more difficult to attack.

Cooper said: “Although online banking fraud losses have shown a year-on-year increase, card fraud remains a main focus of criminal activity.”

The data also shows that cheque fraud fell 29% from £41.9m to £29.8m and counterfeit card fraud (skimming and cloning) has fallen by over a half.