Credit cards and online shopping made our lives so much easier but also increased our chances of getting robbed—we have credit card fraud statistics to prove it.
We are all trying to be more careful, but that isn’t easy because the latest technology brought on new information theft and fraud methods that are hard for us to understand, let alone protect from.
The latest statistics show a shift in trends, as fraudsters are gradually abandoning methods like ATM skimming.
The statistics we’ve prepared are not about keeping you occupied for the next several minutes but warning you about the dangers of the digital age.
Important Credit Card Fraud Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- The number of identity theft complaints in 2020 was twice as high as in 2019.
- Fraudsters can buy your Social Security number for just a dollar on the Dark Web, and your credit card will cost them $5 to $100.
- The FBI estimates that skimming costs US financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.
- A credit card fraud penalty depends on the severity of the fraud but can go up to 20 years in prison.
- One million kids in the US were victims of identity theft in 2017, and 18% of the perpetrators were related to them.
- Two-thirds of US citizens are afraid of being identity theft victims, while only 43% are afraid of being burglarized.
- Retailers are expected to lose up to $130 billion by 2023 due to card-not-present fraud.
Worrying Identity Fraud Statistics
1. The US accounted for one-third of the global card fraud loss in 2019.
The US accounted for 22.19% of the global card volume and an alarming 33.57% of the total international card fraud loss. We can’t say that the situation is improving because the results were fairly similar the year before, reaching 23.33% and 33.99%, respectively.
2. The identity theft percentage in the US is two times higher than the global average.
The statistics show that one in three Americans has experienced identity theft. This is two times higher than the global average. The situation gets even worse when we compare the results with developed European countries like Germany and France. They have a three times lower percentage of identity thefts.
3. The number of identity theft complaints in 2020 was twice as high as in 2019.
(Insurance Information Institute)
The ID theft stats show that there were 1.4 million identity theft complaints in 2020, which was a significant increase from 651,000 complaints in 2019. To put things in perspective, the number of complaints in 2018 was around 444,000.
The numbers clearly show a rising trajectory, which means we should be more cautious online and in the real world.
4. There were 365,597 credit card fraud cases involving new accounts reported in 2020 in the US.
(Insurance Information Institute)
According to the credit card fraud stats, the new account scams accounted for about 29.7% of all identity theft cases in 2020. Even though that percentage seems pretty high, it decreased from 45.7% in 2019.
5. 60% of people who commit child identity fraud know the victims personally.
According to the latest available reports, more than one million kids in the US were identity theft victims in 2017. What’s even worse, two-thirds of those kids were under eight, and 18% of fraudsters were kids’ relatives, most often their parents. The report for the latest credit card frauds in 2020 where children were involved is not yet available, but it’s doubtful it will be any better.
6. Almost 80% of credit card fraud perpetrators are men.
Out of 535 cases reported to the USSC in 2019, most perpetrators were men, and the average age was 34. Almost half (45%) had little or no prior criminal history, which is troubling. They may view this as a victimless crime because usually banks and large companies cover losses. That makes it easier for them to get involved in criminal activities.
7. US credit card fraud statistics reveal that people aged 30 to 39 are the most common fraud victims.
(Federal Trade Commission)
Out of 238,008 reported credit card fraud cases in 2019, 74,572 people were victims between 30 and 39 years of age. The second most affected group involves people aged 40 to 49, with 55,672 reported cases. These two categories account for more than 55% of total victims, which is understandable since they are economically active the most.
8. Bank fraud statistics reveal that people aged 70 and over lose two times more money to credit card fraud than people half their age.
(Federal Trade Commission)
Senior citizens aged 70 to 79 had the median loss of $800 in 2019, but the 80 and older age group overshadowed that. Their median loss was $1,600. The reason could be that senior citizens are less familiar with potential dangers and unaware of the latest fraud schemes.
9. Your Social Security Number is worth $1 on the black market.
When it comes to Dark Web and credit card fraud, the facts are gloomy. Debit and credit cards go from $5 to $110, and fraudsters can get CVV numbers and bank information for an additional $5 to $15.
If they are interested in higher education, your diploma will cost them anywhere from $100 to $400, and they can get your medical records for $1 to $1,000. Some experts say that these Dark Web sites are like webshops, and the visitors can choose the “item” they want and add it to their shopping cart.
Credit Card Theft Statistics – Losses and Penalization
Credit card fraud can be a state or federal offense, depending on whether it was committed over the state lines or against the government. Federal credit card fraud felonies carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.
10. The most common prison sentences for credit card fraud are one to five years but can go up to 20 years.
Depending on the damage caused by the specific credit card fraud, jail time varies. The laws in different states view credit card fraud differently, but the sentence mostly depends on damages. For lower amounts, $500 or $1,000, the fraud will likely be treated as a misdemeanor. When damages are much greater, the offense becomes a felony, and thieves may be convicted to 15 to 20 years in prison.
11. The US generated about a third of the global credit card fraud loss in 2019.
Financial fraud statistics reveal that global losses in 2019 came to $28.65 million, which was a 2.9% increase from 2018. One country, however, took the lead. About a third of that loss was generated in the US, making it the most credit card fraud-prone country in the world.
12. In the UK, credit card fraud losses reached £620.6 million ($853 million) in value in 2019.
Credit card fraud statistics for the UK show a rising trajectory because 2019 losses were almost two times higher than in 2011. That’s a global issue. As we continue to use our credit cards more and more, the losses will only grow.
13. Private label payment cards accounted for 2.3% of all global card fraud losses in 2019.
These are company-issued cards, the ones you get from retail stores, gas stations, airlines, etc. It’s unusual that they are involved in frauds, but it turns out that there is a lot of money there, making them appealing to fraudsters. Credit card fraud loss statistics show that private label cards accounted for $961.92 billion in total volume in 2019. The losses were estimated at $650 million, which was a 7.8% increase from 2018.
14. The FBI estimates that skimming costs US financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year.
However, things are improving in Europe, and we can expect the same trend in the US. When it comes to ATM skimming, the statistics show that reported losses in Europe in 2019 were slightly higher than in 2018, reaching around $297 million and $294 million, respectively.
Despite the $3 million increase, it’s still much lower than $421 million in 2017 and $396 million the year before. Overall, the damage caused by skimming is declining, mainly because most cards now have chips, making them less easy to be skimmed than those with magnetic strips.
Credit Card Fraud Statistics – Projections
15. Experts predict that credit card fraud losses per $100 of total sales will drop by 20% by 2027.
With new methods of protection against credit card fraud and people being more educated on how to avoid scams, we can expect that the loss will drop to 5.7 cents per $100 in 2027, which is a considerable decrease compared to 6.9 cents in 2018.
16. 67% of US citizens are afraid of becoming victims of identity theft, as statistics suggest.
It turns out that people are more afraid of identity theft than being murdered (20%), getting burglarized (43%), and terrorism (29%). That’s hardly surprising because our personal information is digitized and available to anyone with enough will and expertise to access it. If someone goes through so much trouble to acquire that information, they will certainly abuse it.
17. The introduction of EMV chip cards reduced merchants’ counterfeit fraud losses by 87%.
When it comes to EMV fraud, the statistics show a significant improvement since the EMV introduction, resulting in increased popularity. One billion EMV cards had been in circulation by the end of 2019, and 99% of US payment volume in March 2019 was via EMV cards. As the number of EMV cards increases, we can expect the number of physical skimming and similar fraud attempts to decline even more.
18. Retailers can lose up to $130 billion in digital CNP (card-not-present) fraud by 2023.
Once one of the most common types of credit card fraud, credit card skimming is now pale in comparison to more complex fraud methods. Physical card skimming offenses have dropped since the introduction of the EMV cards with chips, and fraudsters are turning to other methods like application fraud or account takeover.
19. RFID cards are safe, and the UK reports zero remote card skimming cases.
(UK Finance), (Digital Trends)
An RFID reader can’t skim your data simply by getting close to you in some public place because RFID cards can’t transmit any data that crooks can later use. The most recent RFID theft statistics show that there is no reason to be concerned.
According to UK Finance, £20.6 million ($28.4 million) in fraud losses as a result of contactless payment were reported in 2019, and the spending on contactless payment was £80.5 billion ($111.04 billion). This is equivalent to 2.5p ($0.03) for every £100 ($137.9) spent via contactless payment.
That’s about two times less than regular credit cards. To put things in perspective, credit card fraud statistics in the US show losses of 5.7 cents for each $100 spent.
20. Online credit card skimming attempts are on the rise, with a 26% increase in March of 2020.
Malwarebytes, a well-known security company, found that the number of online skimming offenses increased by 26% in March of 2020. Fraudsters try to get people’s card information through fraudulent websites, pages, even favicons that contain malware.
Online credit card skimming statistics show that 74.4% of all attempts happened in the US, followed by Canada and Australia, with 5.9% and 5.8%, respectively. The bigger the market, the more appealing it is. This is a clear indicator that as ecommerce grows, online skimming fraud will become more frequent.
It’s a dangerous world out there. In all honesty, it never ceased to be, but threats and dangers are changing. We should all be more careful about what we do online and improve security any way we can before we become a part of the credit card theft statistics.
We all like that we can finish so much of our everyday errands and manage our money online and effortlessly. Still, the online world has attracted many bad guys who are very inventive in finding new ways to take advantage of us. We are not talking just about the money. We are talking about our identities and personal information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How many people are affected by credit card fraud?
There were 271,823 credit card fraud reports in the US in 2019. Only 12% of those involved existing accounts, and a whopping 88% involved new accounts, which shows a shift in trends.
A shocking 72.4% increase in credit card fraud cases was recorded between 2018 and 2019. Losses resulting from credit card fraud reached $27.85 billion in 2018 and are projected to reach $40.63 billion by 2028.
What is the biggest source of credit card fraud?
The most significant source of credit card fraud is card-not-present fraud.
It represents 81% of all credit card fraud cases. The EMV chips in credit cards significantly reduced the chance that point-of-sale scams can happen.
Criminals are now turning to remote crime, and the booming ecommerce market is a great hunting ground for them. The experts predict that the total loss from this kind of fraud will reach $130 billion by 2023.
Do credit card fraud perpetrators get caught?
Sadly, people who commit credit card fraud rarely get caught. They mostly operate from foreign countries, and some of the most infamous groups are from Africa and North Korea.
As far as domestic fraudsters are concerned, one of the most famous is Tahir Lodhi and his group of conspirators.
They created around 7,000 false identities to obtain thousands of credit cards, resulting in more than $200 million in losses. Lodhi was sentenced to 80 months in prison in 2016.
How much jail time do you get for credit card fraud?
The sentence depends on the losses caused and the territory involved. If losses were small and within one state, perpetrators could get away even with a month in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
If criminals operated across states and their actions resulted in a considerable loss, it would become a federal felony, resulting in between 15 and 20 years of jail time.
Unfortunately, even though credit card fraud statistics clearly show a rising trajectory, the penalization policy can hardly be a deterring factor because judges rarely give offenders the maximum sentence.
Tahir Lodhi, a person leading a group of people who committed credit card fraud resulting in $200 million in losses, was sentenced to 80 months in prison in 2016. His right-hand man was sentenced to only 12 months.