21+ Credit Card Fraud Statistics to Keep You Aware in 2020

That will never happen to me!

And then it does!

You get stuck in the elevator.

Or cross the road where you’re not supposed to…

Oh, well.

It could be anything.

How about credit card fraud?

The latest credit card fraud statistics will show that:

Card stealing is a huge problem. It concerns everyone, especially people aged between 30 and 50. 

Here are some facts to show you the bigger picture:

Credit Card Fraud Statistics (Editor’s Choice): 

  • $24.2 billion was lost in 2018 due to credit card fraud.
  • 47% of all credit card fraud cases happen in the US.
  • 163,000 Americans reported being a victim of credit card scams in 2018.
  • Americans lose $231 on average from credit card fraud.
  • Stolen card details sell for as little as $9 on the black market.
  • 31.8 million credit card owners suffered data theft in 2014.
  • Alabama is the riskiest state in terms of credit card fraud.

I get goosebumps just from reading this.

Wanna know more about card fraud? Are you interested in finding out how it can affect you?

Then keep on reading!

Bank Card Fraud: A Global Problem

We’ll kick off with some facts about the scale of the problem.

Hint – it’s bigger than you think.

1. In 2018, over $24.2 billion was lost worldwide due to payment card fraud.

(Source: AP News)

The number is frightening, and the worst is yet to come. According to forecasts, card fraud will accumulate another $10 billion in losses in just 3 years. 

This is insane! 

As more people embrace card payments, the risk of them becoming a victim increases. But existing account fraud is just one of the problems. 

Experts warn about a rise in new account fraud where criminals register new accounts with stolen personal data. 

2. Gross losses from card fraud transactions are expected to reach $40 billion in 2027.

(Source: The Nilson Report)

Card fraud is expected to have cost the world $30 billion in 2019. That number is set to grow considerably in the following years. 

By 2027, gross losses from card fraud will reach $40 billion worldwide. That kind of money is enough to pay off Ecuador’s public debt.

3. 38.6% of all card payment fraud losses occur in the United States. 

(Source: AP News)

More than a third of all losses, or about $9.36 billion, occur in the United States. No other country in the world bares such huge losses due to credit card theft

4. 47% of credit card fraud cases happen in the US.

(Source: Quartz)

You can take this with a grain of salt as it is based on a 2015 research by Barclays. Nearly half of all cases of credit card fraud affects Americans. However, they are responsible for only 24% of global card volume. 

Again, data shows that most criminals target American cardholders more than any other nation in the world.

What Is Credit Card Fraud Doing to Americans?

Let’s focus on the impact card fraud has on American consumers.

5. Out of every $100 spent with a bank card, $6.97 was stolen.

(Source: Moneon

The high frequency of payment card frauds is startling. 

You may have never been a victim of credit card fraud, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. Credit card fraud is widespread and many cardholders have little awareness of the threats. They don’t know how to protect their cards, their card data, their devices, and their personal information. 

Don’t believe me?

6. In 2018, over 163,000 Americans reported being a victim of credit card scams. 

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

Credit card fraud is the most popular type of identity theft. There were 130,928 cases of credit card fraud with new accounts. What it means is that criminals opened new accounts using their victims’ names and purchased goods. 

There were also 32,329 cases of credit card fraud with existing accounts.

7. New account credit card fraud grew 24% in just a year.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

Not only is creating new accounts with stolen data very popular, but it’s also growing at an alarming rate. In 2018, the number of newly created accounts using stolen data increased by 24%. 

In contrast, abusing existing credit card accounts(such as ATM card fraud) decreased by 6%. 

8. Americans lose $231 on average from credit card fraud.

(Source: KPMG)

This is less than the average loss from other crimes, for example, romance scam ($6003) or identity theft ($683). 

You should keep in mind that over 190 million Americans have credit cards. The total amount of US credit card debt is now more than $1 trillion. So while the average amount stolen is not that big compared to other types of scams, there’s plenty to steal from!

9. Stolen credit card details trade for as little as $9 on the black market.

(Source: KPMG)

Credit card fraud is on the rise, so the price of stolen data keeps getting lower. According to experts, criminals sold stolen credit card details for as little as 7 pounds per record. 

It happened right after the British Airways data breach in 2018. Hackers stole the personal data of almost 244,000 British Airways customers and put it on sale on the dark web. 

Crazy, right? And a little frightening. 

Cybercriminals charged between $9 and $50 for a single record. Selling all 244,000 records means they walked away with over $12 million. 

10. People aged 30 to 39 suffered the most from credit card fraud in 2018.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

About 40,182 Americans from this age group reported being a victim, according to credit card fraud statistics

With over 32,000 reported cases, people aged between 40 and 49 were the second biggest group. 

On the other end of the spectrum, minors (aged 19 and under) and elderly people (over 80 years old) reported the least cases of fraud – 1,565 and 1,980, respectively. 

11. In 2019, The Federal Trade Commission paid $314,945 to victims of a fraudulent credit card interest rate reduction program.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

This is one of the less popular credit card fraud facts, but it’s quite fascinating nonetheless. 

A company called Payless Solutions persuaded users to pay for a credit card rate reduction service that would help them save at least $2,500 and pay off their debt quicker. 

The only problem was that the service proved to be useless. Users were charged but all they got in return was either an educational packet …or nothing.

So the FTC decided to refund people that lost money because of the fraudulent credit card rate reduction program. It sent refunds to over 300 users. 

How nice of the FTC.

12. Credit cards were used as a payment method in over 50,000 frauds in 2018.

(Source: Federal Trade Commission)

Credit cards are the second most popular means of fraudulent money transfers. In 2018, over 50,000 frauds included credit card payments. The amount of money lost was $131 million. 

You’re probably dying to know how to find out who stole your credit card

It’s actually not that difficult. Fraudulent payments can be traced back to the scammers. 

However, it seems fraudsters are not too concerned. They don’t mind transferring money to accounts they control.

Wire transfers, however, are an entirely different story. They are the only method more popular than credit cards. They are also harder to trace. In 2018, about $423 million was lost after wire transfer payments. 

13. The number of credit card frauds more than doubled in just 4 years.

(Source: Federal Reserve)

So.

How common is credit card fraud

Between 2012 and 2015, the number of credit card frauds rose from 14 million to 30.4 million. This is an increase of over 117%!

The number of debit card payments increased from 13.7 million to 28.7 million for the same period. 

Very popular, it seems.

14. In-person card fraud amounted to $2.91 billion in 2016. 

(Source: Federal Reserve)

In-person card fraud occurs when the scammer has physical access to the credit or debit card.

This type of fraud is risky as it involves stealing the card from its owner (or cloning it). While it’s hard to say how many credit cards are stolen each year, data shows this type of crime is declining. In 2016, in-person card fraud declined by almost $689 million from 2015. 

Remote card fraud, however, increased. 

15. Remote card fraud stood at $ 4.57 billion in 2016. 

(Source: Federal Reserve)

This represents an increase of 34% year-on-year. 

Remote fraud is one of the most common credit card frauds. It’s becoming more popular because scammers don’t need to have physical access to a credit card. They can buy card details from the dark web or steal them with a phishing attack. 

16. 30% of consumers have become a victim of credit card fraud in the past 5 years up to 2016. 

(Source: ACI Worldwide)

This data is based on a global survey from 2016. By now, the numbers may have pumped up. 

Back in 2016, the countries that suffered the most credit card fraud were the US, Mexico, and Brazil. 

Card crime has become prevalent even though tracking down credit card fraudsters is easy. There are so many ways to lose money. Criminals can steal your card by skimming. They can create a fake website and phish your credit card data. 

Sometimes, all you need to do is leave your smartphone for a couple of minutes and boom! – your credit card details are stolen. 

17. In 2013, hackers stole card details of about 40,000,000 Target customers. 

(Source: Gizmodo)

This is one of the most notorious cyber crimes in modern history. In 2013, hackers stole personal data of up to 40 million Target customers. 

By all means, these are some pretty impressive credit card fraud statistics.

The hackers managed to break into Target’s system and get access to the shoppers’ names, credit or debit card numbers, and CVV security codes. 

Investigators later found out that the hackers got access to a third-party vendor’s credentials. They used that information to access Target’s systems and steal credit card details. 

In 2017, Target agreed to pay $18.5 million in settlements because of the hack. 

18. 36% of phishing attacks target retailers. 

(Source: NTT Security)

Credit card fraud facts show that retail is the most targeted industry by phishing attacks. About 36% of all credential theft attempts happen to retailers and their customers. 

Next in the list are telecommunications (18%), business and professional services (14%), and media (8%).

Credential theft usually involves the customer’s name and email address, as well as their credit card numbers, their CVV codes, social security numbers, and other juicy info that the criminals can later use. 

19. About 31.8 million credit card owners suffered data theft in 2014.

(Source: NASDAQ)

People’s credit card information is easily obtainable. 

2014 might have been one of the worst for American credit card owners. About 31.8 million of them had their data stolen that year.

What’s even more astonishing is the fact that the number of victims in 2014 more than tripled from just a year earlier. 

20. Alabama is the riskiest US state according to credit card fraud statistics. 

(Source: CardConnect)

With 12.78 reported cases per 100,000 residents, Alabama is the US leader in credit card crime. 

On the other end of the spectrum is South Dakota. Only 1.49 reports per 100,000 residents are filed in that state, making it a relatively safe place to own a credit card. 

Don’t let statistical data cool you down. Credit card fraud is a real threat wherever you are! Don’t forget this and keep your cards and your data safe at all times. You don’t want to become part of the latest credit card frauds.

21. About 11% of credit card owners use “1234” as their PIN code.

(Source: Mashable)

I know what you’re thinking. “This can’t be true”, right?

It was certainly true in 2012 when the research was conducted. As credit card fraud statistics show, 1 out of 10 people uses “1234” as their PIN code. 

Do I even need to mention how much of a horrible idea that is?

“1234” is easy to guess and can lead to fraud on credit cards.

You may think that things have changed since then. But old habits die hard. People don’t like to remember complex numbers. Instead, they pick the ones that easily pop in their heads. 

Why do you think that after so many years “123456” is still the most widely used password globally?

Friendly advice: never choose a PIN code that’s easy to guess. Examples include: 

  • 1234
  • 1111
  • 0000
  • similar combinations that are easy to figure out
  • the year you were born
  • the year your child was born
  • your car’s plate number 

Also, skimming is still a thing. Look out for suspicious ATMs whenever you need money. Otherwise, you may end up in the credit card skimming statistics.

Wrap Up

Credit card theft is here to stay. It’s now more of cybercrime than a robbery-type of threat. 

This is bad news. Internet crimes feel “safer” to perform (even though there is no anonymity in the digital world). This means more and more criminals will turn to the internet to steal credit card data and milk bank accounts. 

As credit card fraud statistics show, financial losses are getting bigger every year. The idea of a cashless society gains popularity, which means more electronic payments and a bigger risk of fraud. 

Maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you’re prepared to deal with the consequences of that risk before they turn into reality.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Christo is a bachelor in Economics, but he found a passion for crafting web content. He sees SpendMeNot as an opportunity to create engaging articles and help readers make informed financial decisions.

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