American ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican ExpressAmerican Express
United StatesChange Country

Identity Theft


Identity theft occurs when someone uses your name and personal information to assume your identity either to open new credit accounts, bank accounts, mobile phone accounts, and more in your name or to assume ownership of existing accounts you may legitimately hold. Thieves will trick you into purchasing gift cards and ask that you provide the gift card details to them.


American Express fraud prevention and identification is managed through our monitoring of new and existing accounts. When we detect something unusual, for example, that someone might have stolen your identity and has applied for an Amex card, we will call you and leave a message asking for you to call us back so that we can confirm whether you applied. If you receive a call from 1-866-379-3643, then we have found an application for a new card, that has prompted us to reach out. Alternatively, you can call 1-800-528-4800 where one of our Customer Care Professionals will assist you.


What to watch out for:


While identity theft may begin with the loss or theft of a wallet or purse, there are a number of other ways that identity thieves can obtain your personal information: 


  • Phishing occurs when someone tricks you into divulging personal, financial or account information. Posing as well-known companies, thieves will send out e-mails asking you to reply, or direct you to a fraudulent web page that asks you to provide personal information, such as your credit card number, Social Security number or account password.

  • Phone Phishing (also called "Vishing") is another way thieves try to collect sensitive information from you. In this type of fraud, they will either contact you by telephone or send you a fake e-mail and ask for you to respond by telephone.

  • Thieves may acquire records containing your personal information and/or account information from intercepted or discarded financial statements, payroll stubs, or other records sent to you or from third parties with whom you interact in your normal course of business where such information is disclosed.


Credit Card Fraud


Fraudulent transactions attempted on legitimate credit card accounts have risen sharply in recent years. While in some instances, credit card fraud occurs when someone's physical credit card is lost or stolen by another party who uses it, credit card fraud is driven primarily by compromise of credit card account data during their normal course of usage. Such compromises can range from theft of data by skimming (copying) the information contained on a small number of credit cards' magnetic stripes to large scale data breaches where millions of credit card accounts are compromised through exploitation of a data security weakness at an online or physical store or chain. Stolen credit card data is then often used to attempt fraudulent online purchases or to create counterfeit credit cards to attempt fraudulent in-store purchases.


Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheque Fraud


While the vast majority of Travelers Cheques and Gift Cheques in circulation are authentic and may be reimbursable if lost or stolen (subject to terms and conditions – click here to learn more), there are attempts to use counterfeit cheques in scams, particularly those perpetrated online. Cheque fraud typically begins when someone gives you a realistic-looking check and asks you to send cash or wire money somewhere in return.


How American Express Helps Protect You:


Your security is very important to us. American Express helps protect you from credit card fraud through a sophisticated monitoring system designed to detect fraudulent activity and protect your from Card from misuse. 


If we suspect any unusual activity, we will take measures to monitor your account and/or we may contact you. In fact, we offer a variety of digital solutions to enable instant contact and immediate resolution of most concerns. And remember, when you use your American Express® Card, you are not liable for fraudulent purchases. 


Learn More about How American Express Helps Protect You

Need Help?


If you think you may be a victim of fraud, contact the phone number on the back of your Card or search our 'Contact Us' section of our website.

Report a Suspicious Email


Report a suspicious email: