Paying with credit cards is a way of life in today’s world, and for businesses it’s a must-have to attract new customers and retain current ones. Unfortunately, with credit cards comes the possibility of fraud and the headaches associated with it. Credit card processing companies have done much in their attempts to limit the amount of credit card fraud that can be committed, yet it continues to happen as criminals come up with new and innovative ways around security systems. Businesses with merchant accounts also try to have as many safeguards in place for themselves, yet despite the best efforts of everyone crime still happens. When attempting to deter crime, it’s important to know the statistics associated with the issue.
According to the United States Department of Justice as of 2012, 10% of Americans have been the victims of credit card fraud. The average amount of money involved with credit card fraud is $399, and worldwide almost six billion dollars of credit card fraud was committed in 2012. An alarming statistic is that 40% of all financial fraud is related to credit cards, making them an inviting and easy target for those up to no good.
The most popular type of credit card fraud involves counterfeit credit cards, with this happening in 37% of the cases. 23% of cases involve lost or stolen cards, while another 10% are called “no card fraud,” where unsuspecting consumers give out personal information to telemarketers. Most fraud happens online, with phony emails accounting for 48% of all cases. Criminals are very good at creating persuasive emails telling people they need to verify information, have won prizes or other events that require them to give out personal information. Fake websites account for 12% of crimes, with thieves getting quite good at duplicating websites of banks, retailers and others to fool consumers.
Consumers between ages 40-60 are most often the victims of credit card fraud, and the western states of Nevada and Colorado have the highest rates of fraud per 100,000 residents. Southern states report the fewest incidents of fraud, with Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia among the states where residents are least targeted. Despite the efforts of credit card processing companies, those with merchant accounts need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to potential credit card fraud. By using common sense, this area of criminal activity can be greatly reduced.