By Carla Fried | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor
7 Min Read | October 28, 2020 in Cards
Credit card fraud is the most common fraud complaint reported to the FTC, but there are ways you can protect yourself.
You can create your own credit card fraud prevention and detection strategy by using technology, carefully reviewing your statements and credit report, and keeping a keen eye out for common credit card fraud tactics.
Contact your credit card issuer ASAP if you suspect credit card fraud. You likely won’t have to pay for the charge.
Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular. According to the Federal Reserve, credit cards are used more than 40 billion times a year to make purchases and pay bills.1 That’s more than double the usage before the Great Recession. Alas, credit card fraud also is on the rise.
Credit card fraud is the most common fraud complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). More than 270,000 credit card fraud complaints were registered in 2019, an increase of more than 70% from 2018 – and at mid-year, 2020 was tracking higher still.2 And not everyone takes the time to file a complaint.
The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take to add important layers of credit card fraud protection to your accounts.
Credit card scamsters have all sorts of methods for stealing credit card account info, even without stealing a credit card. One of those ways is by illegally accessing your account, but these tips can help protect you from that credit card fraud threat:
It’s important to stay vigilant when shopping online and browsing the web. To protect against credit card fraud:
Criminals often use phishing, smishing, and vishing to commit credit card fraud. Learning how to detect these methods can help you protect against credit card fraud. For example:
While it’s important to protect yourself from credit card fraud online, it’s a good idea to stay vigilant in person, too. For example:
Paying close attention to your financial information and accounts can help you detect credit card fraud if it were to happen. For example:
In the event you find a credit card transaction you don’t recognize or a credit monitoring service flags suspicious activity, it’s important to take steps to promptly shut down any illegal activity and prevent further damage. Here are some things you can do:
There are many ways credit card info can be stolen, but there are plenty of credit card fraud prevention tips that, when followed, can reduce the chances of fraud. And even if it does happen, your credit card company may be able to help reverse the damages and prevent more problems from happening.
1 “Federal Reserve Payments Study,“ Federal Reserve
2 “FTC Consumer Sentinel Network,” Federal Trade Commission
3 “How often you should change your passwords, according to cybersecurity experts,” Business Insider