Report Analyzes Credit Card Fraud

Even though credit card fraud is increasing in the United States, a report from said it is still poorly understood.

As more people use cards and spend digitally, it opens the door for fraudulent activity; in 2023, an estimated 52 million Americans suffered credit card fraud (and that is with the total percentage declining). Overall, 60% of credit card holders, roughly 128 million, have experienced credit card fraud. Three in four have been hit more than once.

The average fraudulent charge rose 26% in two years. At an average of $100, that equates to around $5 billion in annual fraudulent purchases. More than half of those transactions topped $100, with 20% exceeding $500.

Most folks (96%) don’t report the scam to law enforcement, while 96% tell their bank or card provider. The same percentage got their money back at some point.

Most credit card fraud occurs on cards that have not been stolen. Scammers trick many into revealing banking information through links inserted into texts and emails, while others copy data from POS terminals. The more enterprising read signals that enable contactless payments.

Beware of using public Wi-Fi and protect yourself from malware. Don’t recycle passwords or store them in vulnerable locations like merchant websites and browsers. Don’t transact on public Wi-Fi or free VPNs.

Don’t place daily purchases and automatic monthly billing on the same credit card. Separate transactions into different accounts. This reduces risk and helps to detect fraud. Use credit accounts saved through digital wallets. According to, “These mobile apps automatically incorporate authentication, and their contactless NFC technology transmits encrypted tokens rather than account information, making them safer to use (and harder to lose) than physical cards.”

There are several steps one can use to protect themselves. Review credit card statements for suspicious transactions, especially ones with smaller amounts, as criminals find those aren’t detected as often. One in eight cardholders experienced recurring fraudulent charges.

Register for spending alerts, where you are notified by email, text or app of purchases. They can be customized by amount or transaction type.

Enable multi-factor authentication. A one-time SMS code, external passkey, or biometric stops criminals who only have your password. Employ online password managers. Enroll in a credit monitoring service. Because they constantly track spending, they can provide early alerts of an issue.

Folks are starting to clue in, but they need to do more. Almost all, 95%, use at least one good habit, with 81% deploying multiple ones. However, only 8% use them all.

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