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What are Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions?

Fraudulent credit card transactions are any transactions in which a person uses a credit card in an illegal or unethical way. Unscrupulous people may steal another person’s physical credit card, their credit card information or their identity in order to use the other person’s credit for their own payment processing. Credit card fraud can even be committed by people using their own cards to make transactions with various merchant accounts they do not intend on actually paying

How Common are Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions?

According to StatisticBrain.com, ten percent of Americans have been the victim of credit card fraud. The average amount reported missing in credit card fraud cases is $399. This is not a huge amount, but it can be extremely detrimental to people who are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have the extra funds to spare. Furthermore, that $399 does not include all the expensive legal fees people must pay in order to clear up the financial mess that credit card fraud leaves them in.

Credit card fraud falls into five main types: counterfeit credit cards, lost or stolen credit cards, credit card information fraud without the physical card, credit cards stolen out of the mail and identity-theft credit card fraud. Of these, counterfeit cards are the most common. Counterfeit cards make up 37 percent of all credit card fraud. Lost cards make up 23 percent, fraud without the card makes up 10 percent, cards stolen out of the mail make up seven percent and identity theft fraud makes up just four percent of all credit card fraud.

Credit card fraud affects people of all ages. People between 40 and 49 years of age and people between 50 and 59 years of age make up the two groups of people who report the most cases of credit card fraud. Both groups make up 25 percent of fraud cases each or 50 percent of fraud cases altogether.

What Can People Do to Prevent Themselves from Becoming Victims?

There are several steps people can take to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of credit card fraud. They should leave their cards at home when they do not plan on using them. They should only give out their credit card information for payment processing with companies who have reputable merchant accounts. They should never give out their information over the phone or on the internet where others may overhear it or see it over their shoulder.