If you have never been the victim of credit card fraud, it’s easy to overlook just how common it is.
For example, Experian shares the following statistics:
“The number of credit card numbers exposed in 2017 totaled 14.2 million, up 88% over 2016. In addition, nearly 158 million Social Security numbers were exposed in 2017, an increase of more than eight times the number in 2016.”
So, not only is credit card fraud common, but the problem appears to be growing.
Here are five things you need to know about credit card fraud:
It Could Happen to You
Don’t tell yourself that nothing bad could ever happen to you, as this will give you a false sense of security.
Instead, learn as much as possible about credit card fraud, and then do whatever you can to protect yourself. This doesn’t guarantee nothing bad will ever happen, but it definitely works in your favor.
Credit Card Fraud is the Most Common Form of Identity Theft
While credit card fraud is not the only form of identify theft, it’s the most common. Experian also shares statistics on this, noting the following:
“Credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft (133,015 reports), followed by employment or tax-related fraud (82,051 reports), phone or utilities fraud (55,045 reports), and bank fraud (50,517 reports) in 2017, according to the FTC.”
This doesn’t even take into account the number of credit card fraud cases that went unreported.
You Need to Monitor Your Account and Credit Report
There are many ways to uncover credit card fraud, with regular account and credit report reviews among the best.
For example, if you come across a suspicious purchase on your credit card statement, contact your issuer for more information.
Also, as you review your credit report, make note of any accounts that you didn’t open. From there, contact the appropriate credit bureau for more information and steps you can take to resolve the issue
Be Careful Online
Credit card fraud is often the result of making a purchase at a less than reputable online store. The store itself could be setup as a means of stealing financial information. Just the same, a hacker may recognize that a store is vulnerable, thus targeting it as a means of uncovering important financial and personal information.
Protect against this by only shopping at reputable stores with advanced security measures in place
Your Credit Card Probably Offers Protection
If you’re the victim of credit card fraud, such as someone stealing your information and running up a large bill, you probably have protection.
Most credit card issuers provide zero liability protection, meaning that you’re not responsible for purchases you didn’t authorize.
With this information in mind, you should better understand that credit card fraud remains a major problem. And of course, it’s our hope that this advice helps you better protect yourself!