crime priority: payment fraud
Fraud involving non-cash payments is an ever-present threat. Many aspects of this crime area are highly organised, highly specialised, and constantly evolving to adapt to both industry measures to combat it, and new payment technologies. This crime priority is divided into two, relatively distinct crime areas: card-not-present (CNP) fraud, which occurs largely online, and card-present fraud, which typically occurs at retail outlets and ATMs.
- Due to the slow rollout of EuropayMasterCardVisa (EMV) in the United States, the US remains one of the key destinations for cashing out counterfeit EU payment cards, along with Southeast Asia.
- Several sectors, such as the airline and accommodation industries, are targeted by CNP fraudsters as the services they provide can be used for the facilitation of other crimes, including trafficking in human beings (THB) or drugs, and illegal immigration.
- The lack of EU-wide criminalisation of the possession of stolen/compromised sensitive online payment credentials causes significant investigative challenges in this area.
- Direct attacks on bank networks to manipulate card balances, take control of ATMs or directly transfer funds, known as payment process compromise, represents one of the serious emerging threats in this area.
- Law enforcement and the private sector should continue developing initiatives based on mutual cooperation and information sharing to combat payment fraud, including card-not-present fraud, building upon successful models like the Global Airline Action Days and e-Commerce Action weeks.
- Further research is required to ascertain the extent to which payment card fraud is used to directly or indirectly fund or facilitate other areas of organised crime such as THB, illegal immigration or drug trafficking.
- Payment fraud is characterised by a high volume of low value crime incidents, the full scope of which cannot be envisioned by local reporting and the investigation of individual single illegal transactions. A more coordinated and intelligence-led approach to combatting payment fraud is required throughout the EU.
- Law enforcement should continue to build enhanced cooperation with law enforcement agencies in regions outside the EU where the cash-out of compromised EU cards occurs.
CRIME PRIORITY: PAYMENT FRAUD