Debit, Credit Card Fraud Impacting Millions of Americans

Debit, Credit Card Fraud Impacting Millions of Americans

( – The increased use of technology, especially for shopping and storing sensitive information online, has made it easier for scammers and fraudsters to reach their targets. Hundreds of millions of Americans shop online, and every transaction becomes an opportunity to put their information at risk.

Data Breaches in 2023

The Identity Theft Research Center Annual Data Breach Report revealed that in 2023, data breaches impacted 353 million individuals. In fact, the FBI reported it received more than 880,000 cyber-crime reports.

Millions also filed reports with the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Sentinel Network, alleging they became fraud or identity theft victims. Credit card fraud made up 40.2% of those identity theft cases, showing that digital fraudsters are constantly finding ways to drain people’s bank accounts.

Additionally, released its yearly credit card report, and the data showed that more than 50 million Americans saw fraudulent charges on their debit or credit cards last year. Making matters worse, more than 90% of the incidents resulted from hackers stealing their information online.

Most Americans, 60%, also reported becoming a victim of a credit card fraud at some point. The average charge amounted to around $100, not a small sum for people who live paycheck to paycheck.

How Criminals Exposed the Information

Bad actors have developed various ways to obtain their victims’ information. They send out phishing emails or even misleading links in text messages and emails. Even scarier, some are copying credit card numbers from point-of-sale terminals at stores or rigging them with a strip that collects all of the information electronically — and the credit card user remains none the wiser.

Technology is continually advancing, but that doesn’t deter scammers, who simply find ways around the new developments. They’ve routinely hacked vulnerable databases and farmed the information from users who stored their credit card information online or on websites, particularly if they breached that website. Often, hackers make stolen data available on the dark web.

To safeguard yourself against digital scams and fraud, you can employ a number of safeguards such as using a password manager or activating multi-factor identification for important accounts. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on credit card and bank statements to ensure that all your purchases are valid. Lastly, you can protect yourself by being selective about the information you share and save online, while also keeping a lookout for potential phishing scams on your email or phone.

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