Pubs and restaurants are putting contactless card users at risk of fraud, say experts.

Bars and restaurants are putting customers at risk of fraud by asking them to hand over their cards when they pay by "tap and go", experts have warned.

Taking contactless cards away from customers goes against the UK Cards Associaction's "best practice" guidelines which stat that "the card or device should always stay in the customers hand ( or on their person in the case of wearables), and both you [ the retailer] and the customer should follow the terminal prompts."

Card fraud experts have called on the Government to make the guideline a compulsory rule and have urged consumers to refuse to pay for food and drink by contactless if they are asked to hand their card over.

Andrew Doodwill, founder at the Goodwill group, which campaigns on fraud, said: "The setup in many pubs and restaurants means that the card machine is situated behind the bar. Change is needed here, but it must first come from customers."

"They should live by the rule that they take as much care of their card as you would with their wallet. Customers are being made vulnerable to having their card skimmed [ fraudulently copied] if they hand their card over, so they should refuse when asked to do this."

It is thought that most larger high street retailers are adhering to the guidelines, with chains such as Marks and Spencers and H&M installing card machines which are within easy reach of customers at pay points.

the guidelines also recommend that consumers avoid placing their wallets on card readers due to the risk of "Card lash", and advise retails to always print a receipt for higher value" card purchases.

James Daley, director at Fairer Finance, a campaign group , said: "The risk of bad practice and fraud is much more prevalent un busy bars and small shops. Taking people's tap and go cards away has become so common that people think that's what they're meant to do, when in fact they should be doing the opposite".

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