Updated July 12, 2022

23 Frightening Credit Card Fraud Statistics

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

Not much sends a chill down your spine like having your credit card information stolen. If thieves get their hands on your card, it can take months to undo the damage.

Credit card fraud affects millions of people each year.

If you think it can't happen to you, here's an idea of how big the problem is.

Credit Card Fraud on a Global Scale

How much does credit card fraud cost worldwide?
Putting a price tag on credit card fraud is no easy task. But it is estimated in 2020, losses topped $28.58 billion.

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

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 the early adoption of the EMV.

How often does credit card fraud occur?
Credit card fraud is happening at all times of the day and night. This is why it's important to keep an eye on your accounts. There's a new identity theft victim every two seconds. And many of the incidents involve credit cards.

Credit Card Fraud in the U.S.

How many Americans experienced credit card fraud?
It's estimated 47% of Americans have had their card information compromised at some point.

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

How many personal identities are threatened each year?
In 2020, roughly 1.4 million reports of identity theft were reported to law enforcement. 86% of victims reported fraud in connection with an existing credit card or bank account.

Which state has the highest number of fraud complaints?
Nevada tops the list with 1,154 fraud complaints per 100,000 population. Delaware and Florida come in second and third in terms of fraud complaints.

What about the least?
South Dakota is where you'll find the least amount of fraud. With just 459 complaints per 100,000 people.

Has EMV helped with the fraud rate in the U.S.?
The U.S. finally upgraded to EMV in 2015. This makes counterfeiting cards virtually impossible.

While it helps with reducing in-store fraud, it doesn't help online fraud. This just made fraudsters target new accounts. By the end of 2015, there was a 113% increase in new account fraud. It accounted for 20% of all fraud losses.

Profiling Credit Card Fraud Victims

What age group is most often targeted for identity theft?
Older Americans are more likely to get their identity stolen.

  • 19% of fraud cases involve adults aged 60 to 69
  • 17% of complaints are filed by adults aged 50 to 59
  • 15% involved people aged 40 to 49

Are men or women more 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.

How many fraud victims also lose money?
Credit card fraud results in financial loss for the victim 25% of the time. The victims usually lose around $500.

Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft

Is credit card fraud associated with identity theft?
When we look across all reported occurrences of fraud, credit card fraud is involved 60% of the time.

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.

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. 35.4% of all credit card fraud in the U.S. is related to counterfeit cards.

How is stolen credit card information used?
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.

Data Breaches

How many data breaches occur worldwide annually?
Thieves are getting savvier. They break through corporate and bank information systems and take out credit data. As a result, there's an upswing in credit and debit card fraud related to digital break-ins. There are around 1,862 data breaches annually worldwide.

The U.S. 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.

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.

How many people are affected by data breaches?
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. Not including the unreported number of compromised records.

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 in the healthcare industry.

Bottom Line

Identifying 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. This can 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.

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