Card-fraud losses in France increased by 6% last year, to 268.5 million euros (US$418.3 million) from 252.6 million euros in 2006, led by growing losses from fraudsters using French cards abroad and Internet transactions, according to recent estimates from France's central bank. The total includes counterfeit cards, lost and stolen cards and identity thefts. France's overall fraud rate declined slightly, however, because combined domestic and international card spending increased by 9%, to 430.7 billion euros, the Banque de France reported. That translated into a fraud rate of .062% in 2007, down from .064% for each of the previous two years. As in past years, fraud on international transactions accounted for losses well out of proportion to their share of card spending. In 2007, international transactions-purchases made abroad with French-issued cards and foreign cards used in France-accounted for a combined 154 million euros worth of fraudulent transactions. That made up 57.3% of overall fraud in the French payment card system but represented only 10% of the value of all spending. French banks and retailers, which have completed their rollout of more-secure EMV payment terminals and ATMs, are cutting losses from fraudsters who use foreign cards in France, says the central bank. That type of fraud accounted for 68.7 million euros in losses last year, an increase of just 3.3% from 66.5 million euros the previous year. But fraudsters were able to scam 85.3 million euros by using French-issued cards or card accounts, an 11.6% increase 76.4 million euros. Many retailers and ATMs abroad do not yet support EMV. French banks have secured all their domestic card-present transactions with EMV or similar smart card technology for years, keeping domestic fraud low. But card-not-present fraud, both domestic and international, is by far the fastest-growing fraud-loss category in France. Those losses soared by 43.9% last year, amounting to at least 85.2 million euros from 59.2 million euros the year before. Internet shopping accounted for most of the card-not-present losses, but the category includes telephone and mail-order sales. The Banque de France estimates include transactions on French card accounts used at home and abroad. The central bank, however, did not estimate card-not-present fraud on foreign cards used in France.

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