Almost everybody has a credit card in the 21st century. However, this boom in credit card ownership has led to an increase in credit card fraud.
Credit card fraud can take many forms. Some types of credit card fraud are designed to remove funds from accounts, while others seek to obtain goods for free. Credit card fraud is also tied very closely to identity theft.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, about five percent of people aged 16 or over have been or will be the victim of identity theft at some time in their lives.
1 Electronic or Manual Credit Card Imprints
This type of credit card fraud is committed when somebody skims information placed on the magnetic strip on the back of a card. The information is used to encode a fake card or to complete fraudulent transactions.
2. Application Fraud
Application fraud usually occurs at the same time as identity theft. It is committed when a card is applied for in someone else’s name. Often supporting documents are stolen that to back up the fraudulent application. Banks have safeguarding measures that are meant to stop application fraud such as demanding original documentation. However, high-quality forgeries may circumvent the bank’s systems.
Skimming occurs more often than many people believe. It often involves a credit card reader being set up at a sale terminal, an ATM machine, or anywhere else where credit cards are processed. Skimmers may look like any other card reader but a single swipe can give thieves the card’s account details. Many banks are now using embedded chips that are more secure than swipe cards.
Phishing scams work by requesting credit card information via email. This can be a very effective form of credit card fraud because the emails often look like they come from official sources such as stores, banks, and companies. It’s not always obvious that these emails are fake. If you receive an email like this you should not click on a link inside the message.
You should be suspicious if you receive an email that requests you reply with your password, bank details, full Social Security number, or any other confidential personal information
5 Lost and Stolen Card Fraud
If you lose your credit card or it’s stolen, it may be used to make payments. Machines require a pin number, making this difficult, but it’s not impossible to use a stolen credit card to make online purchases. If you lose your card or it’s stolen, you should always report it to the bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
Given that credit card fraud costs businesses and the rest of us almost $200 billion a year, federal prosecutors are very serious about prosecutions. In some cases, they may be overzealous and seek to prosecute people who have made a genuine mistake.
An experienced Fort Worth white collar crimes attorney can help you if you are charged with credit card fraud. Contact us at (682) 204-4066.