A new report from the European Central Bank has found that credit and debit card online fraud increased in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2012.

It was the first increase since 2008.

An estimated €1 in every €2,635 was lost as a result of fraud. That represents 0.038% of a total of €3.5 trillion in transactions, up from 0.036% in 2011, the ECB said.

The total value of fraud increased by 14.8% to €1.33 billion in 2012.

The ECB suggested that the increase in fraud is related to a strong growth in online sales.

It said that more efforts will be required in order to ensure the security of online card payments as online sales continue to increase.

The ECB said 60% of the fraud was as a result of payments made via post, telephone or online.

Roughly a quarter of fraud originated as a result of using point of sale terminals (POS), while a sixth was from ATMs.

SEPA includes the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland.
"These data show we must remain vigilant against card fraud, although it is also reassuring to see that counterfeit levels are lower inside SEPA than outside, thanks to higher security standards," ECB vice president Vitor Constancio said.

The report also found that, on average, cards issued in France, the UK and Luxembourg experienced the highest losses from fraud as a proportion of regular transactions.