According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), credit card fraud represents the most instances of identity theft.

The following identity theft and credit card fraud statistics will show how this issue plays out in the real world, its impact, the costs, the emotional effects, and other problems that arise from this widespread problem.

Credit card fraud happens when a person other than the credit card holder gains access to and then uses a credit card without permission to charge products or services.

This is not a victimless crime as it affects the card holder financially and psychologically. 

Over the next few paragraphs, we will discuss who commits credit card fraud, how it’s done, and how often it occurs.

Knowing this data could help you prevent it from happening to you. It will at least inform you and make you more aware of this problem.

Post Contents

Key Credit Card Fraud Statistics 2023

  • In 2019, the Center for Victim Reseach estimated that 7% to 10% of adults in the United States fell victim to identity theft. 
  • A 2018 study revealed that 35% of card holders fall victim to credit card fraud. 
  • In 2020, 70% of adult employees said their employers had a data breach, which compromised their personal data. 
  • Emotional distress is an impact on 77.3% of those who fall victim to credit card fraud due to identity theft.
  • In 2020, a total of $28.58 billion in credit card fraud loss was experienced by credit card users, merchants, and issuers. 
  • Credit card fraud is the primary type of identity theft.
  • Since the start of 2019, over 160 million personal records have been exposed in data breaches in the United States alone.
  • The dark web availability of credit card information has grown.
  • FICO reports that stolen credit card data from skimming reached a whopping 759% in the first half of 2022.
  • In the first three quarters of 2022, 29,988 out of 338,684 reports of credit card frauds in the United States were related to stolen existing credit cards.

Detailed Credit Card Fraud Statistics (and Its Victims)

Credit Card

In this section, we will address the victims of credit card fraud and its impact on them. Please be aware that you may find these facts and statistics shocking.

1. In 2019, the Center for Victim Research Estimated that 7% to 10% of Adults in The United States Fell Victim to Identity Theft. 

Identity theft is the primary cause of credit card fraud.

In fact, the Center for Victim Research estimated that between 7% and 10% of adults in the United States become victims of Identity theft. 

This data also concluded that women are in the highest risk group for identity theft.

Since this often results in usage of credit cards in the person’s name, credit card fraud is connected to this crime.

(National Council on Identity Theft Protection)

2. A 2018 Study Revealed that 35% of Card Holders Fall Victim to Credit Card Fraud. 

This study from 2018 shows that over one-third of Americans have reported credit card fraud in their lives. This group also represents people who have had their identity stolen.

As you grow older, the risk grows higher that you will be victimized by a credit card fraudster. 

Baby Boomers, (born between 1946 and 1964) aged 77 to 59, are at a 42.6% risk of becoming a victim of credit card fraud, mostly due to identity theft.

Generation X is at 37.6% risk and Millennials are at 33.1% risk. 

Generation Xers are less concerned about credit card fraud because fewer of them own a credit card. However, the risk is still there.

According to Allstate Newsroom, 48% of Gen Z card holders experienced unauthorized charges to their credit or bank cards in 2020.

(DataProt, Global Wire News, Allstate Newsroom)

3. In 2020, 70% of Adult Employees Said Their Employers Had a Data Breach, Which Compromised Their Personal Data. 

In 2020, working Baby Boomers (98%), Generation X (66%), Millennials (62%), and Generation X (48%) are at risk of data breaches in the workplace.

The longer one is employed with an employer, the higher the risk becomes. 

The data being taken and used includes bank account numbers, W-2 data, addresses, birthdates, etc.

All this data creates the ideal situation for identity theft that results in credit card fraud. 

(Allstate Newsroom)

4. Emotional Distress Is an Impact on 77.3% of Those Who Fall Victim to Credit Card Fraud Due to Identity Theft.

Any form of credit card fraud would cause anyone emotional distress. However, in 77.3% of reported cases people who experienced identity theft also experienced credit card fraud.

As a result, they suffered from emotional distress.

The main psychological impact is related to how to get the problem resolved, which is time-consuming and stressful on its own.

However, the added stressors of getting back to their lives and managing their finances in the wake of credit card fraud increases the psychological factor. 

Nearly 70% (69.4%) of them reported feeling less safe or unsafe, powerless, helpless, angry, frustrated, etc. All 77.3% of victims reported feelings of distrust, financial chaos, etc. 

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(DataProt)

5. In 2020, a Total of $28.58 Billion in Credit Card Fraud Loss Was Experienced by Credit Card Users, Merchants, and Issuers. 

The volume of credit, prepaid cards, and debit transactions came to nearly $42 trillion in 2020.

With $28.58 billion of that including credit card fraud, 6.81 cents per every one hundred dollars was unrecoverable because of credit card fraudsters pulling scams.

In 2019, this volume was only a few cents lower at 6.78 cents per every one hundred dollars.

However, the transaction volume was higher as was the gross loss to credit card scams.

(Money Transfers)

Credit Card Fraud Statistics and How It Happens

Credit Card

In this section, we’ll cover how credit card fraud happens. This will include the statistics on identity theft and other forms of this kind of fraud. 

Some ways credit card fraud occurs include computer hacking, phishing emails, at the checkout counter, stealing snail mail, lost or stolen cards, credit card skimmers, and calls about wire transfers or fake prize winnings. 

6. Credit Card Fraud Is the Primary Type of Identity Theft.

Identity theft statistics show that this is the main type of identity theft.

This has been a huge concern for several years, but between 2018 and 2019, reports of identity theft grew by 72.4%. 

Additionally, with over 270,000 reports of credit card fraud in 2019, it’s been categorized as the most common type of identity theft.

Between 2015 and 2016, reports of credit card fraud grew by 31.4% (34.8% in 2015 and 66.2% in 2016)..

(Legal Jobs) 

7. Since the Start of 2019, Over 160 Million Personal Records Have Been Exposed in Data Breaches in The United States Alone.

According to information from the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council, 1,152 data breaches have been tracked in the United States since early 2019. At that time, over 160 million records were exposed.  

Data breaches open the flood gates to criminals who commit identity theft and credit card fraud. It’s not just using someone’s existing credit card.

These breaches result in the ability to open new credit accounts in someone else’s name. 

The instances of data breaches account for 62% of exposed records. In 2019, the healthcare industry experienced data breaches resulting in the exposure of 38 million records. 

(DataProt, Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council)

8. The Dark Web Availability of Credit Card Information Has Grown.

Stolen data comes from data breaches, stolen credit cards, stolen identities, etc. This stolen data is sometimes sold on the dark web.

In 2021, there was an increase of 135% in credit card information placed on the dark web.

The past three years, since the pandemic started, stolen credit card data on the dark web has substantially increased.

Not only has there been an increase of credit card data there has also been an increase in passwords, user data on the dark web.

(DataProt, Privacy Affairs)

9. FICO Reports that Stolen Credit Card Data from Skimming Reached a Whopping 759% in The First Half of 2022.

Credit card skimming frauds were up from 548% in the first quarter to 759% in the first half of the year.

The card skimming scam may be an old threat, but it’s seen some new growth since the pandemic. 

This fraudulent, illegal activity is especially growing and prevalent in the United States. Even with monitoring and reporting these incidents, the issue is on the rise.

Card skimmers are devices placed where you swipe a credit/debit card. It can be a false front over an ATM, fuel pump where you buy gas, or any of-sale (POS) terminal that can read magnetic cards strips. 

The skimmer allows the thief to capture videos of card users’ typing their PINs or more advanced devices act as a keylogger that can grab the PIN information.

From there, the scammer can download the data from a wireless connection then use it to make purchases before the card is flagged.

(FICO)

10. In the First Three Quarters of 2022, 29,988 out Of 338,684 Reports of Credit Card Frauds in The United States Were Related to Stolen Existing Credit Cards. 

The remaining 308,696 involved using the stolen information to create new credit accounts. As a result, we can surmise that most credit card fraud comes from creating new credit accounts.

The cases related to existing credit cards came to 29,988 out of the total of 338,684 reports of credit card fraud, which is 0.089% of these cases.

The instances of bank fraud for the same periods came to 123,912, with 12,930 events related to existing accounts.

While the total number of total bank frauds are lower than the total of credit card frauds, the percentage of 10% for new accounts is higher than the 0.089% of credit card frauds involved new accounts. 

(Public Tableau)

The Costs of Credit Card Fraud

Credit Card

In this part of the article, we will cover the costs incurred by credit card fraud. This isn’t just a financial issue, as you will learn.

11. Credit Card Fraud Is Expected to Cause Losses of Over $165 Billion Over the Next 10 Years.

The Nilson Report from December 2022 forecasts that the losses incurred in the United States alone could account for more than $165 billion over the next 10 years.

It’s predicted to affect all age groups across the nation.

Card-not-present, which is where the credit card isn’t on-hand and is used in mail-order, over-the-phone, and online transactions, amounted to an estimated $5.72 billion in the United States’ losses alone in 2022.

(Bankrate, Nilson Report, Intelligence Insider)

12. The Effect on Merchants in Credit Card Fraud Cases Is Beyond Financial. 

There is no way for merchants to completely avoid credit card fraud. However, they have options for reducing the expenses of unauthorized use.

The impact on a business includes things like the chargeback fees, the potential loss of their merchant account, and the potential losses in operating and prevention expenses. 

When a business has an EMV-enabled (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) card reader, the card issuer is liable for unauthorized transactions.

However, the business is liable if they aren’t using an EMV-enabled card reader. 

(Nerd Wallet)

13. Online Merchants Lose $3.75 Billion for Every Lost Dollar Due to Credit Card Fraud in 2022.

According to LexisNexis Risk Solutions, the cost of fraud in the overall retail and ecommerce industry took a jump from $3.36 billion for every dollar lost in 2020 to $3.75 per every dollar lost in 2022.

Included in the statistics, this data comes from issues such as cybersecurity breaches, the changing of payment methods, identity verification challenges, and other factors that have an impact on retail and ecommerce. 

(LexisNexis Risk Solutions)

14. In 2022, the Global Credit and Debit Card Fraud Losses Came to $34.4 Billion.

Since credit and debit card fraud is predicted to continue growing, it’s estimated that by the end of 2023, the costs of losses will come to $36.1 billion. In 2024, that figure is $38.1 billion.

It’s expected to be as high as $49.3 billion in losses by 2030.

With this information at hand, you can use it to protect yourself against credit card fraud. In the FAQs section, we will add the steps to take to protect against it going forward.

It would be good to save the information for later. Knowledge and preparation can go a long way to prevention even though you may not be able to protect yourself 100%.

(WalletHub)

15. In 2018, It Costs Families with Children $540 Million Out Of Their Own Pockets in Expenses when Children Were Victimized by Credit Card Fraud. 

Identity theft doesn’t just happen to adults. Children can also be a target. That factor cost $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses to parents in 2018.

While this number is part of identity theft statistics, it also plays a key role in credit card fraud stats. 

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Javelin Strategy & Research conducted a study in 2018 that revealed that 18% of identity theft cases against minors were perpetrated by a parent’s partner or spouse.

More data showed that 7% of victims knew the person who committed the identity theft. 

Regarding minors who are included in credit card and identity theft statistics, 60% of them know the perpetrator. 

Between the summers of 2021 and 2022, childhood identity theft took a sizable decline from 1.25 million to 915,000 cases. The costs to families have risen to almost $1 billion per year. 

(DataProt, Javelin Strategy & Research)

Credit Card Behavior Statistics

Credit Card

In this section, we’ll discuss how people use their credit cards and how it can boost credit card fraud.

16. After a Credit Card Fraud Event, Over 50% of Consumers Change Their Shopping Behaviors. 

It’s not unusual for victims of credit card or identity theft fraud to close certain accounts, quit shopping where their data was breached, or engage less in online shopping after a credit card fraud event. 

Statistics regarding online shopping show that 56% of those who shop cut back on their online shopping and close payment accounts after hearing about a fraudulent event or experiencing one. 

(DataProt, Sparks Research)

17. 87% of Survey Respondents Admit to Shopping Online Using Public Wi-Fi in The United States.

In the United States, where credit card fraud is the most prevalent, Norton’s Wi-Fi report shows that of the adults surveyed, 87% claimed they used public Wi-Fi to shop online.

In fact, the report says they claim to have no hesitation in doing so.  

Also, this same surveyed group said that they have no problem checking their bank account through public Wi-Fi, checking their email, or shopping. Do you think 87% of Americans are setting themselves up for credit card fraud and identity theft?

(Experian, Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report 2017)

18. Digital Card-Not-Present Transactions Require Staying Abreast of Preventative Measures Against Credit Card Fraud.

If retailers don’t keep up with modern card-not-present transaction protocols, they stand to lose $130 billion per year.

This issue can only get worse, but not better unless retailers, online and offline, take appropriate actions.

Also, it’s unwise for consumers to assume that banks, retailers, and other websites will keep them safe.

Fraudsters are always at the ready when it comes to finding ways to get your information and use it. It starts by protecting yourself first. 

(DataProt)

19. Merchants that Have Upgraded Their Payment Terminals to EMV Chip Systems Have Seen a 76% Decline in Fraud. 

There’s no doubt that EMV chip payment terminals are protecting merchants and consumers from fraud. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than other payment systems.

EMV technology can reduce fraud, but it can’t eliminate it. So far, nothing can.

Chip cards are now accepted in 75% of storefronts in the United States.

The decline in fraud instances dropped between September 2015 and December 2018 after EMV systems were introduced.

(Visa, Nerd Wallet, Chargebacks 911))

20. In Europe, Fraud Cases in Card-Not-Present Transactions Are Becoming Widespread.

The United States isn’t the only country where credit card fraud happens. In Europe, the expansion of ecommerce has more people shopping online.

This activity has resulted in an upturn in credit card fraud. 

In fact, nearly 80% of card-not-present transactions account for the total of fraudulent credit card transactions.

The costs incurred by countries across Europe come to an estimated €1.8 billion each year. 

(Nets)

FAQs

Where Are the Highest Reports for Credit Card Fraud in The US?

Kansas is the state with the most reports for credit card fraud as of 2022 with 1,483 per 100,000 residents reporting incidents.

Rhode Island is second in line at 1,191 out of 100,000 residents. 

Where Are the Lowest Reports for Credit Card Fraud in The US?

South Dakota takes the prize for the fewest credit card fraud complaints at 72 complaints per 100,000 residents. Iowa is close with 96 out of 100,000 residents. 

What Is Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud is categorized as a type of identity theft. It occurs if someone steals a credit card, or at least its information to engage in unauthorized transactions.

Most of the time, credit card issuers don’t hold the card holder responsible for these fraudulent transactions. 

How Should You Report Credit Card Fraud?

If you’ve fallen victim to credit card fraud, you should contact your credit card issuer through chat or phone call immediately.

If you suspect you’ve been compromised, you should report it.

Let the customer service associate know that you think you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud and ask for the account to be closed, or at least suspended.

Also, you need to file an identity theft report via the FTC website and inform the three primary credit bureaus of this event (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

Do Credit Card Fraudsters Get Caught?

Only about 1% of all fraudsters in these cases get caught and/or held responsible.

Where Was the Biggest Credit Card Fraud Perpetrated?

The biggest known instance of credit card fraud occurred in New Jersey.

The fraudsters included a ring of at least 20 individuals using 7,000 fake IDs and over 1800 drop site addresses.

They were able to steal $200 million before they were caught and charged by the Justice Department.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud?

There are several things you can do to protect yourself from credit card fraud. While it’s unlikely you can 100% prevent it, you should take steps to protect yourself.

Here is a list of things you can do to protect yourself financially and emotionally from credit card fraud.
• Regular check your bank account statements. Even a small amount like a penny or more can be a fraudster trying to validate your account and see if you have funds in it.
 
• Take precautions when using public Wi-Fi. You shouldn’t check your bank account or shop through public Wi-Fi because it’s not secure. If you tend to shop online in public, invest in a VPN (Private Virtual Network) for a secure online environment.

• Set up account alerts on your credit accounts. Most credit card companies, banks, and lending institutions allow you to set alerts to notify you about any unscheduled or suspicious activity on your account.

• Get free credit-monitoring services. Credit monitoring will provide alerts when any suspicious activity occurs. 

• Use multi-factor authentication. Your devices should have multi-factor authentication installed on them. This can protect you from fraudulent incidents. 

• Avoid engaging with phone solicitors. If you get a phone call from an unknown number, just don’t answer it. Government agencies don’t ask for your information over the phone unless you have already contacted them. Just be safe and don’t give out your credit card, Social Security, or other identifying information over the phone to anyone.

You can also freeze your credit report with each of the three primary credit reporting agencies so that no one can open new credit accounts using your information. That means you also cannot open any new accounts, but you can unfreeze your credit when you want.

Conclusion

Credit card fraud needs to be reported as soon as you are aware of the possibility of unauthorized activity on your account.

One of the reasons that credit card fraud causes emotional distress is because it can negatively impact your credit score, your ability to buy a house or a car, and create other financial hardships for you until it’s resolved.

Once you’ve read this shocking data, you should be more aware of credit and debit card fraud. It should help you better protect yourself.

We recommend that you save the list of things to do to protect yourself from credit card fraud in the FAQs section.

These credit card fraud statistics should show you how important it is to act.

Sources

Allstate NewsroomBankrateChargebacks 911
DataProtDefine FinancialExperian
ExperianFICOGlobal Wire News
Intelligence InsiderInterstate Technology & Regulatory CouncilJavelin Strategy & Research
Javelin Strategy & ResearchLegal JobsLexisNexis Risk Solutions
Money TransfersNational Council on Identity Theft ProtectionNerd Wallet
NetsNetsNilson Report
Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report 2017Privacy AffairsPublic Tableau
Sparks ResearchVisaWalletHub