Criminals Easily Commit Credit Card Identity Theft
For those who are still unaware, Legal Yogi is here to inform you that credit card identity theft in the USA is the simplest and the most common type of identity theft. The process is so simple that if you have ever used a credit card at a gas station or restaurant and accidentally left your copy of the receipt, you can easily become a credit card fraud victim. Or, if you have ever thrown your paid monthly credit card statement in the trash and left it out, a thief can easily get a hold of your information and use it to his or her benefit. In this age of easy internet information, even if your address not mentioned on the receipt you threw away, it can be obtained with just a few clicks of a mouse. So identity theft protection is very important.
Here is some interesting information about credit card identity theft:
- How can people use my credit card information?
- How can I repair my credit after identity theft has taken place?
- How can I protect my credit card information?
The Faces of Credit Card Frauds
The term credit card fraud refers to fraudulent actions involving not just credit cards but also debit cards. The perpetrator may use the card to purchase goods or services or transfer money into another account the criminal controls. To reduce the instances of credit card frauds, they created the Payment Card Industry Data Security. This data security standard has the sole purpose of helping banks and other financial institutions process credit and debit card payments securely thus reducing the amount of fraud.
There are two classifications of credit card fraud: authorized and unauthorized. In an allowed transaction, the actual card owner sends a payment to an account the criminal controls while an unauthorized transaction refers to a transaction in which the account holder did not allow to reduce the transaction, but the criminal himself or another third party handled the transaction. In 2018 unauthorized fraudulent transactions created financial losses of over $24 billion worldwide.
The most common fraud today involves instances where the card is not present. This can usually take place without the account holder even being aware until some time later. With the internet being such a large source of financial transactions. Data breaches have created costly security lapses; sometimes, millions of accounts have been involved in the data breach.
Some of the more common types of credit card identity theft include:
- Application fraud when a criminal uses fake or stolen information to open an account in someone else’s name (can also link to identity theft).
- Taking over another person’s account by assuming control of accounts that do not belong to the person in question.
- Social engineering fraud occurs when a scammer poses as someone else in order to incur a voluntary money transfer or receive personal information about another person through fraudulent methods. The criminal will then access the person’s bank account, credit cards, or use the personal information to get access to those accounts.
- When an account holder uses his card in what he believes to be a routine transaction, skimming occurs, getting personal information. A device that swipes and records the credit card numbers of many victims can accomplish this. Another method involves the scammer making a copy of the account numbers on a card when it is out of the immediate view of the account holder. This can occur frequently in places such as restaurants where the card often taken out of the sight of the customer to another location in the building for processing.
- Unexpected repetitive billing is another method that is easy for customers but can be an open invitation to scammers. Another method is when criminal pose as representatives of utility companies and tell customers they must pay immediately to avoid termination of service. Typically, a reloadable debit card is used to load the funds.
Notable identity theft Cases
A breach of data occurred at TIX Companies between July 2005 and January 2007. The breach exposed information from 45.6 million credit cards. The same person who believe to be the instigator of this attack, was indicted in August 2009 for the theft of information from 130 million credit and debit cards at Heartland Payment Systems that affected four retailers.
Adobe Systems suffered a hack in 2012 that compromised information from 40 million accounts. The information that was exposed included the names of customers, account numbers and expiration dates from encrypted payment methods, and order information.
Four Russians and a Ukrainian were indicted in July 2013 in New Jersey. A minimum of 160 million losses of credit cards and over $300 million in monetary losses resulted. The hack affected sever large companies in the U.S. and Europe including Citigroup, Nasdaq OMX Group, PNC Financial Servies Group, Visa licensee Visa Jordan, Carrefour, J.C. Penny, and JetBlue Airways.
Target Corporation experienced a breach between November 27, 2013, and December 15, 2013 in which data from approximately 40 million credit cards was compromised. The information exposed included names, expiration dates, account numbers, and CVV codes.
Neiman-Marcus experienced a breach from July 16 to October 30, 2013 in which approximately 110 million they compromised sets of payment data.
They compromised the payment systems at Home Depot on September 8, 2014. During the breach, hackers compromised 56 million customer credit card account numbers.
A coordinated attack on May 15, 2016, resulted in 1600 South African credit cards being compromised at 1400 convenience stores in Tokyo. The total loss was $12.7 million and only took three hours. A group of around 100 committed the theft.
Credit Card Identity Theft Statistics
While there are likely to be many more statistics on credit card frauds, we have chosen ten of the most important ones of which consumers need to be aware against Identity Theft Protection. It is also important to note, according to FTC, credit card theft is a part of identity theft.
- Over 390,000 cases of credit card fraud were reported in 2020 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- The FTC reported credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft in 2020.
- In 2020 thirty-four percent of all fraud reports involved a monetary loss (FTC).
- FTC reported the 4.7 million fraud reports in 2020 was higher than the number reported in 2019.
- COVID-19 and federal stimulus payments resulted in 143,992 fraud reports as of July 2020 (FTC).
- Higher median losses occurred in 2020 among those 60 years old or older than among any other age group (FTC).
- New accounts experienced a 48 percent increase in 2020 over 2019 (FTC).
- Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Nevada were the states with the highest per capita rates of reported credit card fraud (FTC).
- The FTC stated consumers reported losses because of fraud over $3.3 billion in 2020. This was $1.5 billion more than what it reported in 2019.
- In 2019 33.57 percent of all credit card losses because of fraud occurred in the United States (Nilson Report).
Credit Card Scams and Identity theft Protection
Keeping ahead of credit card scams can be difficult. It’s a cat-and-mouse game because as soon as businesses take steps to stop a certain scam and identify some safeguards, the scammers figure out a means to escape being discovered. Over the years companies have taken different measures to reduce the cost of credit card scams, and while it worked for a while, the criminals could Some measures companies outsmart the companies. Some measures companies have used over the years include:
- Introduction of the “hot list” that preceded the age of computers.
- To determine whether a credit card had been swiped in this manner, a store had to manually check a list. While it seemed like a workable method to detect fraud, the problem was the list only came out once a week, so if a card reported later, it would not show on the list. There was a floor limit, but the criminals got smart and would only make purchases that fell below the limit. They also knew the closing dates of the “hot list,” so they would conduct their business in between those dates.
- Because of the POS (Point of Sale) method’s ability to identify fraud at the register, introducing computer-generated methods made it simpler to detect fraud. A workable solution until payment at registers became self-functioning. This meant criminals could embed a card reader into the POS machine. This allowed them to access all the information on the card and then make a duplicate.
- Introducing the RFID blocker made carrying a credit card safer. But then criminals came up with the means to override the blocker and gain the information even though the card was safe in the consumer’s wallet.
- Telephone scams are still a problem. As soon as one we found it, another one hits the waves. Even though warnings go out to consumers constantly warning them to never give out their information unless they started the call to a company with whom they usually do business, it still happens.
Credit card scams are a big problem, and we seem to see new ones every day. We have companies that appear to legitimately have job openings that want bank information to pay you—it never happens. Criminals are still getting personal information and getting credit in the names of unsuspecting consumers.
How Can People Use My Credit Card Information?
Using only your name, date of birth, and social security number, someone else can get loans, open a bank account, access your existing bank accounts, and even buy a house. You will probably know nothing about it until creditors come knocking on your door for payment. Or you apply for credit but denied because you were found having bad credit. Credit card fraud and identity theft have become a big business. The honest people out there, including children, are becoming the victims.
How Victims Can Report Credit Card Fraud
If you find you are a victim of credit card fraud, it is essential to report the incident. Failing to report credit card fraud can make you even more of a victim. The thief will leave you responsible for any charges he makes using your card. Remember, your card issuer will hold you responsible for any charges on your card until you report the theft. Some cards issuers only allow 48 hours to report theft. If you report it after that time, you will be responsible for any charges that occurred before you reported the theft. This isn’t always the case, but it’s important to know the guidelines of your card issuer.
Once you notice the theft, you need to immediately contract the card issuer. They will then cancel the card and issue you a new one while opening an investigation into any fraudulent activity that occurs. You also need to notify the credit bureaus, so they can put a red flag on your file. What this means is they will contact you to verify whether you applied for credit and where. It may be a pain when you actually apply for credit, but it’s worth the extra step.
Contact Card Issuers
If you have had over one card stolen, you will need to contact each of the issuers individually. This is quite time-consuming. But, some issuers offer a plan. With this plan, the issuer would contact all your credit card issuers on your behalf. Frequently, this is a plan your financial institution may offer unless you subscribe to an identify theft protection plan.
One resource that is at your disposal is www.legal-yogi.com (I know you said link to Credit-Yogi, but identity theft is under Legal-Yogi which is where I assume you want visitors to go). On the site, you will find many articles on identity theft protection. For example, how to report it, how to contact the credit bureaus to place alerts in your file, how to recognize the signs of identity theft etc. Use the contact form to reach out to one of our experts for help with identifying and resolving your situation.
Help for Financial Concerns – Credit-Yogi.com
Leaders in Credit Card Identity Theft Protection
Although there are many companies that offer services for identifying credit card theft, some undoubtedly have better ratings than others. According to ConsumerAdvocate.com, the following are the top five in the industry:
Aura is a technology company whose specialty is helping customers keep a safe internet. They were established in 2019 and, according to their LinkedIn profile page, include both 201 and 500 employees. Their headquarters is in Burlington, Massachusetts.
- Identity Guard
Identity Guard is in Herndon, Virginia and has 11 employees according to their Dun and Bradstreet profile. Their principle is Barbara Clifford, and they generate just over $617,000 in sales.
According to their website, the company is in Nashville, Tennessee. The only other information available was they partner with several other companies to provide credit card fraud or identity theft protection.
- Life Lock
According to Wikipedia, Life Lock is an American identity fraud protection company that was established in 2005. Their headquarters is in Tempe, Arizona, and they reported 788 employees in 2016.
- Identity IQ
U.S. News reports Identity Q is an identity protection company that was founded in 2009. Their website shows call centers in several cities across the United States. No other information was located.
How Can I Repair my Credit After Identity Theft Has Taken Place?
Suppose you are a victim of credit card ID theft and wonder if you can ever recover from the loss. The answer is yes. You can recover, but it will take hours of effort. This is something you are not responsible for. Many people are resorting to the expertise of credit card identity theft protection service agencies. These agencies can notify their clients as soon as any suspicious activities detected. However, if you don’t want to get help from an agency, there are steps you can take to help protect your credit card information on your own.
Discover Card Identity Theft Protection
The Discover identity theft protection plan monitors the content of your credit report every day and alerts you of certain key changes. In addition, with your membership, monitoring of thousands of potentially risky websites for your social security number included. They also alert members monthly of any changes to your address that appear with the postal service. To sign up for this service, go to https://www.discover.com/products/identity-theft-protection/.
American Express will monitor your account and let you know of anything that sounds suspicious. Visa has a guarantee you will not be held responsible for any charges on your account because of theft. The policy applies both to credit cards and debit cards. If you suspect misuse of your Capital One card, immediately report it. They will lock the card and issue you a new one with a different account number.
How Can I Protect My Credit Card Information?
With the ease of access and popularity of the internet nowadays, it is easy to get much information. And, to save yourself from identity fraud, it is important for you to protect your information. Some steps you can take include:
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