By myfinances.co.uk staff
Losses to credit and debit fraud fell by over a quarter last year, the first decline since 2006.
Figures from the UK Cards Association show total losses to fraudulent card activity stood at £440.3 million for the year, down 28% on 2008.
The organisation said the decline was down to the increasing use of chip and pin technology, as well as the introduction of more sophisticated fraud detection systems in financial institutions and on the high street.
Nevertheless, losses to online banking fraud rose by 14% to £59.7 million. The association said this was mainly due to criminals using malicious software programs that target online banking customers by attacking their PC, rather than a stronger bank network.
In addition, 2009 saw over 51,000 incidents of phishing - whereby criminals use fake emails and websites to lure consumers into revealing their account details - an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year.
Commenting on the figures, uSwitch.com pointed out that while the rise in online losses shows there is still work to be done, Britons deserve "a pat on the back" for taking steps to protect themselves from financial crime.