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More than a third of Britain’s retailers have been victims of crime in the last 12 months

Research released today by Barclaycard Business has revealed that more than a third of Britain’s retailers have been victims of retail crime. The research of more than 1,000 retailers across the UK has discovered that of those retailers questioned 39 per cent had had a crime committed against them during the last year. The research comes from the first Barclaycard Business Retail in Detail Survey; an annual survey of more than 1,000 retailers across the country which aims to build a comprehensive picture of the nation’s high street and to gauge the views of retail owners in the UK today. Shoplifting topped the type of crime committed against retailers in the last year. Of those who had been a victim of retail crime in that last 12 months 50 per cent had suffered from shoplifting. Barclaycard Business found that this was followed by burglary in second place (29 per cent) with more than one in six suffering from customers paying with counterfeit cash (17 per cent) or their own staff stealing from them (16 per cent). Types of crime committed against retailers in the last 12 months: Shoplifting 50% Burglary 29% Counterfeit cash 17% Credit or debit card fraud 17% Staff stealing/fraud 16% The research also found that nearly a third of retailers (32 per cent) are more worried about crime than they were 12 months ago. Retailers overwhelmingly cited burglary as their number one concern - 4 in 10 reporting burglary as the crime they were most worried about. Credit and debit card fraud (27 per cent) and shoplifting (25 per cent) were also mentioned frequently. Types of retail crime that retailers are worried most about: Burglary 40% Credit or debit card fraud 27% Shoplifting 25% Staff stealing/fraud 9% Counterfeit cash 9% Bill Thomson, Commercial Director, Acquiring from Barclaycard Business commented on the results, “It is clear that retailers across the country are more worried about crime in their area than they were a year ago. Retailers have a particular fear of being burgled with concerns of credit and debit card fraud following closely behind, both of which can be extremely distressing and expensive to their business.” “To try to allay these fears retailers should work with their local police forces, crime prevention groups and their card acquirer in order to fully protect themselves from becoming a victim of retail crime.” To ensure retailers avoid the unnecessary cost and upset resulting from card fraud, the Barclaycard Business Fraud Control Team, the only complete anti-fraud service in the UK acquiring industry, offers advice, education and training to merchants on card fraud prevention and how they can use existing industry tools to protect themselves. By linking up with MasterCard and UK Maestro, Barclaycard Business produces up-to-date reports on any fraudulent purchases reported by card issuers within the previous 24 to 48 hours, enabling merchants to potentially stop any fraudulently purchased goods or services from being despatched. In view of today’s research findings Barclaycard Business advises the following useful tips to help retailers take the simple steps to protect themselves from retail card fraud in both the face to face retail and online card-not-present environments*: Face to face retail environment card fraud prevention tips:
  • Check the customer by ensuring their name matches the name and gender of the person on the card
  • Assess the customer’s actions - are they making random purchases, acting edgy or requesting large amounts of cash back?
  • Check the first four digits appear above or below the embossed account number – on Mastercard and Visa, these four digits should be the same
  • Make sure the last four embossed numbers on the card match the last four numbers on the till print out
Card-not-present fraud prevention tips:
  • Be vigilant. Continue your checks right through the purchase from order to delivery of goods
  • Ensure you capture as much information as possible from the cardholder during CNP transactions including a contact telephone number that is preferably not a mobile number
  • Be weary if the cardholder cannot remember their home address or phone number, do they sound as if they are referring to notes or being prompted by a third party whilst on the phone?
Bill Thomson continued, “The effects of retail crime are widely felt amongst employers, employees, customers and the wider community and it is of the utmost importance that communities and businesses work together to fight crime effectively and efficiently.”