Increase in Credit and Debit Card Fraud Alerts
A new survey reports that the number of credit and debit card fraud alerts received by cardholders has spiked from 2015 to 2016. This increase is not necessarily a result of more fraudulent activity, rather more diligent fraud reporting.
According to CreditCards.com, in 2016 44% of Americans had received a fraud alert for their credit or debit card in their lifetime, up from 38% in 2015. Credit card companies and banks are upping their vigilance when it comes to catching fraudsters. Alerting cardholders of unusual behavior is one line of defense.
However, some fraud alerts are being sent by mistake. The survey states 37% of respondents said the fraudulent alerts were on legitimate purchases. Astute scammers are taking advantage of fraud alerts by monitoring messages and then posing as the impacted consumer to call and retrieve a new credit or debit card. One way to avoid fraud alerts on legitimate purchases, is to communicate with banks or credit card companies when travelling or planning a high dollar purchase.
Overall, 6% of consumers nationwide fell victim to credit and debit card fraud for an average of $263 per instance. Despite the increase in “chip” cards, ATM fraud is also on the rise. Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) reported a 70% rise in ATM fraud from 2015 to 2016.
Monitoring monthly credit and debit card statements and responding to fraud alerts is one way to stay ahead of scammers. Consumers are also advised to watch their credit score and report any abrupt changes that may be fraud related.