How often do credit card frauds get caught? The convenience provided by these cards is undeniable. Because you don’t need to carry as much cash in your wallet, it’s thinner and easier to carry around. You need a card to make multiple purchases with a single swipe. Although credit cards can help you reduce your losses in mugging or snatching, they can also risk another type of theft, such as credit card fraud. Learn what it is and how to keep your credit cards safe from theft. This article from Hanfincal offers some solutions.
1. What is credit card fraud?
1.1. Identity theft
Identity theft refers to crimes committed against individuals in which personal and financial information is obtained illegally through deception or fraud, usually for financial gain. The stolen information can be your name, address, Social Security number, and other personal information.
What harm can identity thieves cause you? They can:
- Take money out of your bank account;
- Make a credit card or loan application in your name;
- Steal your tax refund by using your Social Security number;
- Use your health insurance to get medical attention;
- Sell your information to other criminals;
Identity theft symptoms include:
- You receive bills for purchases that you did not make or credit accounts you did not open;
- You no longer receive household bills in the mail, indicating that your billing address has been changed.
- Despite having a good credit history, you are turned down for a loan or are approved at higher interest rates.
- Unauthorized transactions have been discovered on your bank, credit card, or other financial statements;
1.2. Stolen credit card Information
Your security PIN, credit card number, and the security code on the back of your card are all that fraudsters need. They can make online purchases and other purchases where only the card information is required.
Banks store accounts not only numbers and names but also dates of birth, Social Security numbers, ID numbers, addresses, and credit card numbers—everything a thief needs to compromise an identity. Suppose your information is stolen in a data breach. In that case, you should change your account numbers, monitor your credit reports, and be on the lookout for someone impersonating or tricking you into giving up personal information such as bank account credentials. It may also be worthwhile to hire an identity theft protection service to assist you with this task.
1.3. Stolen or lost credit card
A physical credit card can be stolen in many ways, including physical card theft, data breaches, card skimmers, etc. It is always possible to misplace a wallet or have a credit card stolen, especially when traveling. If thieves obtain your credit card, they can use it to make online or in-person purchases until you report it stolen.
Furthermore, a thief steals a new card from your mailbox before checking and activating your card. This is why some banks and credit card companies employ their in-house delivery personnel, who are required to hand the credit card to the credit card holder in person (who must also present a valid ID to prove identification). If losing or having your credit card stolen, immediately contact the issuer to change the card number and replace the card.
2. How often do credit card frauds get caught?
While rarely discovered, it can take up to 45 days to catch credit card fraud. One of the reasons credit card fraud goes unnoticed is that the perpetrators use anonymous services and modern techniques that make it much more challenging to track them down. Another reason is that most victims do not bother to report the crime to the police, especially if the money involved is not significant. They only need to contact their bank, and whatever was stolen will be refunded – assuming the report is made on time.
The bank would also not file a police report if the amount was not significant because insurance would most likely cover them. In these cases, the insurance companies lose money, and even if they file a police report, it will most likely be dropped because no police officer wants to waste time on a $300 fraud case.
3. How to avoid credit card fraud?
Tips for avoiding credit card scams include:
- Maintain the security of your wallet in your bag. After every purchase, double-check that your card is still in your wallet.
- Avoid using any public Wi-Fi connection for credit card transactions, and keep your passwords as complex as possible.
- Check your credit statement frequently to ensure that all of your purchases are yours.
- Keep a record of your credit cards and account information, including contact information for the card issuer.
- Never carry all of your credit cards with you at once.
- Personal documents, such as your Social Security number, should be kept in a secure envelope at home.
- If someone steals your wallet, you should first contact your credit card company and report the theft.
- Never give your credit card information to a shady online store or one with no security measures.
- Responding to unsolicited email offers should be done with caution.
- Suppose you suspect or prove that you have been a victim of identity or credit card theft. Freeze your reports immediately to prevent criminals from opening new accounts in your name.
- Never give out your PIN to anyone.
- Signing blank credit card receipts is not acceptable. Before you sign, double-check that the amount you’re being charged is correct.
- Look for skimming devices before inserting your credit card at gas stations or ATMs.
How often do credit card frauds get caught? Hanfincal believes that the answer and prevention tips provided above can assist you in carefully protecting your credit card information. Fraud is an unfortunate byproduct of the convenience of using credit cards, and no one wants to be in that terrible situation. Knowledge and vigilance can assist you in stopping it, and if you become a victim, acting quickly and decisively can help minimize the damage.