Updated February 26, 2020

23 Frightening Credit Card Fraud Statistics

47% of Americans have been victim to credit card fraud in the past 5 years. Find out just how common credit card fraud is in 23 chilling statistics.

Not much can send a chill down your spine faster than the thought of having your credit card information stolen. If thieves get their hands on your card and go on a shopping spree, it can take months to undo the damage to your finances.

Credit card fraud affects millions of people each year, and 34% of CreditDonkey readers report being victimized at some point. If you think it can't happen to you, check out these sobering facts and statistics to get an idea of just how big the problem is.


1. How much does credit card fraud cost worldwide each year?
Putting a price tag on credit card fraud is no easy task, but the Nilson Report estimates that in 2016, losses topped $22.8 billion. That represents a 4.4% increase over the previous year.

2. Which country gets targeted the most for credit card fraud?
We didn't have to look far for this answer. A report from Barclays found that 47% of the world's credit card fraud happens right here in the U.S.

3. Which country has the highest card fraud rate?
In 2016, Mexico took the winning title with 56% of residents reporting experiencing card fraud in the past 5 years. Brazil comes in second at 49%, and the U.S. is third at 47%.

4. Which country has the lowest incidence of fraud?
Residents of Hungary have the least to worry about when it comes to credit card fraud. In 2016, just 8% of Hungarians reported experiencing fraud on their credit cards in the past 5 years. In general, European countries have the lowest fraud rate due to early adoption of the EMV.

5. How often does credit card fraud occur?
Credit card fraud is happening at all times of the day and night, which is why it's so important to keep an eye on your accounts. According to a report from Javelin Strategy, there's a new identity theft victim every two seconds, and many of the incidents involve credit cards.


6. What percentage of Americans have been victims of credit card fraud?
ACI Worldwide (an electronic payment systems company) estimates that 47% of Americans have had their card information compromised at some point in the past 5 years.

7. What percentage of Americans have experienced debit card fraud?
Surprisingly, despite their access to bank accounts, debit cards are not as much of a target as credit cards. According to ACI, 21% of Americans have dealt with debit card fraud in the past 5 years.

8. How many personal identities are threatened each year?
The latest release by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that in 2017, roughly 16.7 million incidents of identity theft were reported to law enforcement. 86% of victims reported fraud in connection with an existing credit card or bank account.

9. Which state has the highest number of fraud complaints?
In terms of reporting to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Massachusetts tops the list with over 200,000 fraud complaints filed in 2017 alone. Another 44,000 complaints were filed in connection with identity theft. California and Florida come in second and third in terms of fraud complaints.

10. Which state reports the least fraud-related complaints?
North Dakota is where you'll find the least amount of fraud, with just 2,090 complaints reported in 2017. Vermont had the lowest number of identity theft complaints, with just 354 complaints lodged that year.

11. Has the introduction of EMV in the U.S. helped with the fraud rate?
The U.S. finally upgraded to EMV in 2015, which makes counterfeiting cards virtually impossible. While it helps with reducing in-store fraud, it doesn't help online fraud. In fact, this just made fraudsters target new accounts (as opposed to existing accounts). By the end of 2015, there was a 113% increase in new account fraud, which accounted for 20% of all fraud losses.


12. What age group is most often targeted for identity theft?
Older Americans are more likely to get their identity stolen. According to the FTC's 2017 report, 19% of fraud cases involved adults aged 60 to 69. 17% of complaints were filed by adults aged 50 to 59. Another 15% involved people aged 40 to 49.

13. Are men or women more likely to be affected by identity theft?
Women are more frequently the victims of identity thieves, but not by much. In 2016, 13.5 million women experienced identity theft, compared with 12.5 million males.

14. What percentage of fraud victims also lose money?
Approximately 25% of the time, credit card fraud results in a direct or indirect financial loss for the victim.

15. How much money are we talking about?
Individual financial losses vary widely but in 2015, the median loss (combined direct and indirect) reported per incidence of fraud was $200. The average reported loss was $780.

Among victims who reported direct financial losses, the average was $7,761 and the median was $2,000 per victim. This is compared with those who suffered indirect losses with an average of $261 and median of $10.


16. How often is credit card fraud associated with identity theft?
When we look across all reported occurrences of fraud, credit card fraud is involved 33% of the time. Identity theft occurs in relation to bank fraud 12% of the time.

17. What form does credit card fraud most frequently take?
Overwhelmingly, the majority of credit card fraud occurs online or over the phone to make purchases. Also known as CNP or card-not-present transactions, this type of activity accounts for 45% of all fraudulent card usage.

18. How common is credit card counterfeiting?
Credit card skimming is a sneaky tactic. Identity thieves are able to siphon away your digits to create duplicate cards. Approximately 35.4% of all credit card fraud in the U.S. is related to counterfeit cards.

19. How do identity thieves use stolen credit card information?
While credit card scammers may use stolen information to exploit existing accounts, they're more likely to establish new lines of credit. In 2015, for reported cases of credit card fraud, 73% involved new accounts being opened fraudulently.


20. How many data breaches occur worldwide annually?
Thieves are getting savvier with being able to break through corporate and bank information systems and take out credit data. As a result, we're seeing an upswing in credit and debit card fraud related to these digital break-ins. From the first 6 months of 2019, 3,800 breaches were reported globally.

The United States seems to be especially vulnerable to data breaches compared to the rest of the world. In 2017, 1,579 breaches were reported in the U.S.

21. What percentage of data breaches involved identity theft?
Approximately 65% of all data breaches involved some form of identity theft. The next area of interest is financial access to targeted organizations, accounting for 16% of breach incidents.

22. How many people are affected by data breaches worldwide?
A substantial number of people can be affected every time there's a breach. Their personal information could be compromised, putting their identities and financial information at risk. From 2018, more than 2.6 billion data records were lost or stolen. And this does not even include the unreported number of compromised records.

23. Which industry experiences the most data breaches?
In 2019, the business sector experienced the most breaches, accounting for over 33% of all breaches. The 2nd biggest hit was on the healthcare/medical industry, which has been a huge target recently. In 2019, 30% of breaches were on the healthcare industry.


Identify theft is scary. Unfortunately, it is all too common, making it so we all need to be careful with our personal data. No one wants to fall victim to credit card fraud.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Guard your data, monitor your accounts closely, and be on the lookout for email phishing scams. Another smart thing to do is to check your credit report regularly to head off identity thieves before they have a chance to do any more damage - not just to your credit history but your reputation as well.

Sources and Additional References:

  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Javelin Strategy
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • The Nilson Report
  • Quartz
  • Aite Group
  • ACI Worldwide
  • Gemalto
  • Breach Level Index

Rebecca Lake is a journalist at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and reviews website. Write to Rebecca Lake at rebecca@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Read Next:

Leave a comment about 23 Frightening Credit Card Fraud Statistics?

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2022 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.