Consumers have been warned to remain vigilant despite a welcome drop in credit and debit card fraud during 2010.
New research from life assistance company CPP indicated that 7% of people had been hit by card fraudsters in the previous 12 months, which is 3% less than the figure for 2009.
However, an estimated 13 million Britons have now been affected by the crime, with many not realising they were victims until being informed by their bank or suffering the embarrassment of having their card refused when using it to pay for goods at a shop.
The fall is a mark of the progress made in the bid to tackle card fraud, with initiatives such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode hailed for helping to cut the number of instances online.
But CPP warned that the annual £440 million bill from the fraud is still a major problem and consumers should "not let their guard down" when using credit or debit cards on the internet or at a cashpoint.