How Often Does Credit Card Fraud Occur and What are the Signs it Has Happened to You?
Nearly 400,000 incidents of credit card fraud occurred in the United States in 2020, and victims usually do not notice that it has occurred until unauthorized transactions began to appear on their credit card statements.
The good news is that credit card companies go out of their way to prevent credit card fraud because no business can survive without trustworthiness, and they do not want a reputation for causing customers financial hardship by leaving them vulnerable to credit card fraud. The bad news is that hackers are always finding new ways to steal credit card information, so corporate cybersecurity is, by nature, reactive instead of proactive. Meanwhile, if you get convicted of credit card fraud, even if it was only for a single unauthorized transaction, you can face serious criminal penalties. To find out more, contact a Gwinnett County financial crimes defense lawyer.
Prevalence of Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is one of the most common types of identity theft, along with theft of bank account information and Social Security numbers. The COVID-19 pandemic saw a major increase in credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft, as people conducted a much higher percentage of transactions online, and companies had to act quickly to upgrade their cybersecurity infrastructure. According to the Intuit website, there were almost 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2020, 393,207 of which were credit card fraud. Most incidents of credit card fraud involve fraudsters opening a new credit card account in the victim’s name, without the victim’s knowledge, after stealing enough of the victim’s identifying information to do this. Credit card fraud involving existing credit card accounts represented only about 10% of credit card fraud cases.
How to Tell if Your Card Has Been Subject to Fraud
Credit card fraud is not the same as a disputed charge; a disputed charge is when you gave a vendor access to your credit card information, but they charged you more money than you agreed to pay. Credit card fraud is when you never even knew about the vendor, or about the credit card account, until the bills started coming. According to the Capital One website, these are some signs of credit card fraud:
- Transactions on your credit card statement involving payments to companies you do not recognize.
- Being blocked from your credit card account.
- Accounts on your credit report that you did not open.
- Debt collection communications from creditors you don’t recognize or for debts you do not remember incurring.
If you are accused of committing credit card fraud, the prosecution can build its case against you by showing evidence of these things on the victims’ accounts and connecting them to devices to which you had access. You can fight the charges by showing that there is some other explanation for the transactions.
Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Criminal Charges for Credit Card Fraud
An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for credit card fraud or other kinds of identity theft. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a free consultation.