Fraudsters were certainly busy over the holidays. According to a new report from ACI Worldwide, one out of 67 transactions from Thanksgiving to December 31, 2015, was a fraud attempt, up from one out of 72 transactions during the same time last year.
The payments solution provider found that thieves were using stolen credit card and/or debit card numbers to commit fraudulent e-commerce transactions, purchase gift cards, order items for next day/overnight delivery or, even buy online for store pick-up more frequently this year. Fraudsters were, however, spending lower amounts on each transaction.
ACI’s data is based on hundreds of millions of transactions from global retailers using its payment technology. The company considered a transaction fraudulent if it was verified as such by a merchant; if transaction data matched a record in its global screening negative database (which accounts for chargebacks, credit card numbers being sold online in underground chat channels, and fraud reported by issuers); or if patterns matched recently confirmed fraud behavior.
A Call to Credit Card Action
Keep in mind, the data tracks fraud attempts. ACI doesn’t yet have hard numbers on how many or how much in fraudulent transactions actually went through this year. (It did find back in 2014 that one in four consumers had been a victim of card fraud in the preceding five years.) Still, the report should inspire anyone who has been ignoring their credit card bills this January to check their statements immediately.
In fact, you should always check all of your statements regularly. Many issuers do tout zero liability policies on credit cards or, even debit cards. But it’s still in your best interest to report fraud as soon as it occurs. Doing so can help ensure you aren’t on the hook for fraud. It can also prevent you from incurring fees or bouncing a check on a debit card account.
Preventing Credit Card Fraud
Using a new EMV chip-enabled debit or credit card can help protect your payment information during in-store transaction. Remember, though, the chip won’t protect your payment information when you enter it online. You can protect your credit cards online by shopping only on encrypted sites and protecting accounts with strong passwords. You can also refrain from storing card numbers on websites or look into virtual card numbers.
Finally, if you ever have reason to believe your personal information was compromised along with your payment data, you should monitor your credit. You can do so by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your credit score for free each month on Credit.com.
More on Fraud & Identity Theft:
- Identity Theft: What You Need to Know
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email