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Credit Card Fraud Shows Greatest Increase in a Decade

Stack of credit cards

No matter what precautions are taken to thwart them, it seems that the bad guys are always one step ahead. And undoubtedly, they are highly motivated by the opportunities in front of them to steal massive amounts of money through credit card fraud. Banks and credit-card companies have put great effort into putting a lid on fraud, but like the amount of credit-card debt in the US—the problem just keeps growing.

Card-Not-Present Transactions Show Large Increase

A recent study by Javelin Study and Research states that for just last year 6.15 percent of consumers in the US had their identities stolen—showing a staggering increase of over two million identity fraud victims. So, while credit card companies may have worked hard to institute chips for more encrypted transactions, criminals have been behind the scenes working on more fraudulent transactions that do not require a card to be present. If you consider how often you may give out your credit card number online or over the phone, it’s easy to see why criminals are fond of the ‘card-not-present’ transaction.

Identity Fraudsters Took $16 Billion in 2016

The numbers are disturbing indeed—and just as we seem to be a culture transitioning away from the use of cash in retail transactions—one must wonder if that’s the only safe route today. Javelin pointed out that last year points to the highest rate of identity fraud since they began studying the issue in 2003; in fact, those engaged in fraudulent activity managed a ‘take’ of $16 billion last year—up a billion from 2015.

It seems consumers aren’t safe anywhere in terms of cards and accounts as account takeovers also went up last year in a 61 percent increase at $2.3 billion. And as Javelin also discovered, ‘new-account fraud continues unabated.’

Obviously, we must all take every precaution necessary to avoid fraud related to credit cards. The key is security! Although we live in a world where social media can be very useful, consider what information you are sharing with the world. Fraudsters often gain surprising amounts of information from social media sites, so be sure to make sure your privacy settings are tight, and that strangers cannot view your information.

Make sure you keep up with all your credit-card accounts, and request to be notified in the case of any questionable behavior on your account. You may end up with a lot of communication from your credit-card company or bank, but this is much better than being a victim of fraud.

Keep those passwords fresh and new! Keep changing your passwords, and make them as complex as possible. Watch for any fraudulent activity, and should you suspect anything out of order, contact your creditor as soon as possible.

Also, if you feel like your own credit-card debt is getting out of control and you need advice, contact Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC, a law firm with decades of experience in helping clients to explore their financial options. Let us review your case and help you go from there. We are here to help! Call us today for a free consultation at (844) 431-3851, or email us at

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