Credit card fraud statistics: What are the odds?

Credit card fraud statistics - Featured image

Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to fraud cases that cost them, their banks, and the national economy billions of dollars. As consumers embrace online banking and eCommerce, cybercriminals are coming up with increasingly creative ways to steal your money.

If you use a credit or debit card, there is a non-negligible chance that you will fall victim to fraud. We’ve compiled worldwide losses and other relevant credit card fraud statistics to help you defend yourself.

Key findings: Editor’s choice

  • People in their 30s are the most vulnerable to credit card fraud.
  • 130,928 credit card fraud reports were recorded in the United States in 2018.
  • The worldwide cost of credit card fraud in 2018? $24.26 billion.
  • Identify theft claimed another victim every two seconds in 2017.
  • The amount of credit card data available on the dark web jumped 153% in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • 4.1 billion records were exposed in 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches in 2019.
  • By 2023, retailers will lose about $130 billion each year on card-not-present transactions.

General credit card fraud statistics

1. More than 1 billion credit cards are in use in America, and 2.8 billion worldwide.

(Shift Processing)

American credit card usage is higher than it has ever been. At the moment, there are nearly 3 billion credit cards in use worldwide. Credit and the absence of cash have become essential factors in the modern economy.

As card use grows, so does the risk of fraud. In spite of advanced security measures, identity thieves are becoming more and more creative in finding ways to rob cardholders, merchants, and banks.


2. 130,928 credit card fraud reports were recorded in the United States in 2018.

(Insurance Information Institute)

About 40% of the reports were connected to new credit card accounts, which is a 24% jump from 2017. When it comes to bank fraud, statistics on credit card fraud show 23,219 reports. Most were requests for creating new accounts.


3. As long ago as 2013, identify theft claimed another American victim every two seconds.

(Javelin Strategy & Research)

The number of identity theft victims is growing rapidly. According to Federal Trade Commission credit card fraud and ID theft statistics, as many as 9 million Americans currently have their identities stolen each year.


4. In America, exposed consumer records jumped 126% in 2018.

(Identity Theft Resource Center)

The overall number of breaches in America fell in 2017, but credit card fraud and cybersecurity statistics made up for lost ground in 2018.

The total number of records compromised in the USA during 2018 reached 446,515,334 – up from 197,612,748 in 2017. Most of the data theft happened as a result of hacking, with the business sector and healthcare serving as primary targets.


5. Account takeover losses rose 122% in 2017 and 164% in 2018.

(BankInfoSecurity)

Much of the rise in account takeover attacks can be attributed to the rise in online banking. The popularity of eCommerce sites also accelerated the rise in  crime rate statistics.

Think of account takeover this way: It’s like someone gained access to your home and immediately changed the locks.

Credit card fraud statistics show that the cost of these attacks tripled from 2016 to 2017, reaching $5.1 billion in the US. Experts predict the total cost of account takeovers could surpass $20 billion in 2020.


6. In 2018, $24.26 billion was lost to payment card fraud worldwide.

(Nilson Report)
The loss to card fraud is not going away anytime soon. In 2018 alone, more than $24 billion was lost due to these financial fraud cases. Experts have projected that global losses will grow another $10 billion over the next three years.


7. E-commerce fraud in Mexico increased 74% in 2018.

(ACI Worldwide)

Even though the US leads the way with attention-getting statistics on credit card fraud getting investigated and prosecuted, the Mexican fraud market is right behind.

Mexican financial consumer watchdog Condusef reported this significant increase in cyber fraud  cases in 2018, citing overseas transactions as the main cause. Although cash remains important in Mexico, 45% of all transactions are credit card payments.


8. 54% of businesses are “somewhat confident” they would be able to detect fraudulent activity on time.

(Experian)

Experian’s 2018 global fraud report detailed just how prepared corporate executives are to deal with fraudulent activities. Business leaders reported that they are not very confident when it comes to detecting or reacting promptly to credit card fraud.

US credit card fraud statistics highlighted by the study reveal that 54% of executives say they have the confidence to resolve credit card scams when they are discovered, but they are less confident about proactive measures and prevention. Fewer than half – 40% – say they feel “very confident” about preventing incidents.


9. Emotional distress is reported by 77.3% of identity theft victims in current credit card fraud statistics and facts.

(Identity Theft Resource Center)

When someone falls victim to debit card fraud, the financial impact is well documented. The socio-economic and emotional effects are often overlooked.

Identity Theft Resource Center was one of the first organizations to grasp the psychological effects of identity theft, and the way those effects compromise victims’ ability to resolve their situations in fraud cases.

The group’s 2018 study found that the emotional impact of identity crime can affect how victims manage their daily lives and deal with finances after the incident. Statistics on credit card fraud reveal that 85.7% of respondents admit feeling angry and frustrated afterward, and 69.4% of respondents felt unsafe or powerless. Distrust, lost opportunities, and financial chaos were reported by 77.3% of identity theft victims.


10. Fraud attempts during the 2017-8 holiday season increased 22% over 2016-7.

(Experian)

The holiday season is the favorite time of year for fraudsters. Online types of fraud rose 22% over the previous year as the number of eCommerce transactions grew by 19%.

Fraud attempts were highest on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and December 21, when credit card fraud statistics during holidays showed that 1 out of every 85 transactions was a fraud attempt.


11. The US sustains 38.6% of the world’s reported payment card fraud losses.

(Nilson Report)

The United States leads the world in many cybercrime statistics, including losses due to card fraud. American banks and merchants reported losses almost every day.

Credit card fraud statistics in the US show that America currently accounts for nearly two-fifths of global debit and credit card fraud, in spite of the fact that it generates only 29% of total global purchases.


12. The Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council has tracked 1,152 data breaches in the US since the beginning of 2019. More than 160 million records were exposed.

(Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council)

The banking, credit, and financial category was the most affected sector, with more than 100 million records exposed. The category accounts for about 62% of exposed records. Statistics in US on credit card fraud reveal that healthcare comes second, with 38 million records exposed in 2019.


13. Residents of Georgia, Nevada, and California make the most identity theft reports per 100,000 population.

(Federal Trade Commission)

Reports by state reveal that certain states have a higher prevalence of identity theft than others. US credit card fraud statistics point out that population size plays a large role in this, since the numbers of identity theft cases in 2018 coincided with the states that have the most citizens.

States ranked by identity theft reports per 100K population, 2018


14. American credit card fraud rates grew in 2015 and 2016 before stabilizing in 2017. Then in 2018 reported fraud cases exploded, growing by 18.4% in a single year.

(The Ascent)

Credit card fraud statistics reveal that growth statistics rise and fall, sometimes dramatically, by year. In 2016, reported fraud cases jumped 31.8%, but the next year saw only modest growth of 6.7%.

The pace of growth accelerated in 2018 when credit/debit card fraud statistics revealed an 18.4% jump and another reason to worry: 157,668 consumers had their private data exposed.


15. About 35% of American consumers have fallen victim to credit card fraudsters. The percentage gets higher the older you are.

(The Ascent)

According to an Ascent study of American credit card habits, more than one-third of Americans have had their identity stolen and fallen prey to credit card fraud. The study revealed that it’s more likely you will become a victim of credit card fraud the older you get. Here’s the breakdown:

GenerationCredit card fraud likeliness
Millennials33.10%
Generation X37.60%
Baby boomers42.60%

16. The amount of credit card data available on the dark web increased by 135% last year.

(Credit Union Times)

With a growing hoard of stolen data, fraudsters realized they needed someplace to trade and sell user information, passwords, and credit details – so they set up a marketplace on the dark web. As data breaches increase and credit/debit card fraud statistics show troubling trends, this data marketplace has become overfilled – especially after the amount of data more than doubled in a single year.


17. The Federal Trade Commission’s database of consumer complaints has compiled 13 million complaints from 2012 to 2016, with 3 million complaints filed in 2016 alone.

(CreditCards.com)

Out of the 3 million cases reported in 2016 in the FTC credit card fraud statistics database, 42% were fraud related and 13% were identity theft cases. Consumers filed Federal Trade Commission complaints, and the incidents wound up costing $744 million in fraud complaints in 2016. The median paid in each case was about $450.


18. There were more than 9,600 reported data breaches in the US between 2008 and 2019.

(Javelin Strategy & Research)

In spite of additional layers of security protection against these crimes, fraudsters still find the job relatively easy. In the period from 2008 and 2019, cybercriminals were able to steal more than 10 billion customer records, according to compiled credit card and ID theft statistics.

Mega-breaches and credit card frauds grab headlines, but smaller incidents happen every day as cybercriminals find new ways to bypass protection. Everyone who uses or accepts cards is vulnerable.


19. The number of data breaches increased 54% in 2019.

(Norton)

Credit card fraud statistics from the first half of 2019 show a 54% increase in reported breaches compared to the first half of 2018. Data breaches are happening at a record pace. In the first half of 2019, 4.1 billion records were exposed in 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches.


20. More than 1 million children in the US were victims of identity theft in 2017, costing families $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses.

(Javelin Strategy & Research)

It seems that no one is too young to become a victim of identity fraud. US credit card fraud statistics show that more than a million children had their identity stolen in 2017. Parents paid a staggering $540 million in identity theft costs in 2018.

Two-thirds of child identity fraud victims were younger than 8 years old. ID theft is becoming a more prevalent problem since many kids establish an online identity at a very young age.

A 2018 Javelin study found that 18% of reported identity fraud cases against minors were committed by a parent’s spouse or partner.

When it comes to identity fraud against adults, Javelin found that about 7% of victims knew the perpetrator. Among children who contribute to statistics on credit card fraud and identity theft, 60% of victims are familiar with or connected with the fraudster.


21. Those aged between 30 and 39 reported the most cases of identity theft from 2017 to 2018.

(The Ascent)

Identity thieves are equal-opportunity crooks. But it seems that one age group is the primary target. Those in their 30s report credit card fraud the most – 107,367 cases in 2018 alone.

Debit and credit card fraud statistics show that only one age group filed fewer identity theft reports in 2018 than they did the year before: seniors aged 60 to 69. The reported 6.7% fewer reports in 2018 than in 2017.


22. Global losses to credit card fraud are expected to exceed $35 billion annually by 2020.

(Nilson Report)

Predictions from a 2015 Nilson Report study suggest that the global cost of credit card fraud will top $35.4 billion by 2020. However, there are many factors likely to affect those predictions and the number of reporting on identity theft.

For instance, companies from around the world lacked secure infrastructure for international payments back then. Now, Europay-Mastercard_Visa technology has been upgraded with additional layers of security against losses from counterfeit cards. Credit and debit card fraud statistics reveal that those cases accounted for 49% of all card losses in 2015. Fueled by data and new technology resources, we might have a better chance in handling global card losses and identity theft issues by the time the next year comes.


Card-not-present fraud statistics

23. Card-not-present fraud is now 81% more common than point-of-sale fraud.

(Javelin Strategy & Research)

The expansion of eCommerce trading has made fraud even more tempting. Credit card fraud was once confined mostly to stores, but since people are shopping online more than ever, online stores have become a new destination for cybercriminals.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research credit card fraud statistics from 2018, card-not-present fraud is now 81% more likely to happen than card fraud with purchases made in brick-and-mortar stores.


24. 67% of US stores are EMV-compliant.

(The Ascent)

Banks have complained for years, citing identity theft examples, that retailers were refusing or delaying implementation of EMV technology. And it’s true – sometimes it took retailers six months to certify newly installed card processing equipment. All that changed as soon as they saw how the equipment’s security measures cut down on fraud and scamming.

Visa’s credit and debit card fraud statistics reveal that 67% of US merchants use more than 3.1 million EMV-compliant terminals.


25. More than half of consumers change their shopping behavior after a fraud event – closing accounts, switching online retailers, shopping less online, and so on.

(Sparks Research)

Credit and debit card fraud affects the victim in more ways than just financially. Anxiety affects shopping habits and indices many consumers to change their habits after the damage is already done.

Online credit card fraud statistics show that 56% of online shoppers curtail their e-commerce shopping and close their payment accounts after experiencing – or sometimes just hearing about – a fraudulent event.


26. The global e-commerce market is predicted to grow to $4.9 trillion by 2021, increasing opportunities for card-not-present fraud.

(Statista)

Despite growing fears of CNP fraud, the global eCommerce market is predicted to grow quickly and substantially –  online sales will make up 17% of all global consumer sales by 2022. Consumers prefer shopping using PCs most of the time, but mobile devices are catching up.


27. The US is the most vulnerable country when it comes to card-not-present fraud – 77% of US merchants are selling online.

(CreditCards.com)

Credit card fraud prevention statistics show that EMV chip technology has helped in minimizing the spread of CNP fraud, but the threat is still present.

The US stands out as the most vulnerable country. With America leading the way in eCommerce, it offers fraudsters more opportunity to commit some type of credit card fraud.


28. Card-not-present fraud has begun to spread quickly throughout Europe.

(Nets Group)

Online shopping is now a habit around the world, and Europe is no exception. With the expansion of eCommerce in Europe, financial institutions are worried that CNP fraud will shake up markets. Credit card fraud statistics worldwide prove their fears were justified.

Nets Group, a payment service provider, has published research demonstrating that card-not-present fraud represents almost 80% of the total volume of fraudulent card transactions. Other challenges facing European customers, merchants, and banks include cross-border fraud and counterfeiting on non-EMV cards. The current value of European fraudulent transactions is estimated to be €1.8 billion per year.


29. Among merchants who have upgraded to EMV chip systems, counterfeit fraud has dropped by 76%.

(The Ascent)

EMV technology significantly reduces CNP fraud. But even though US credit card fraud online statistics show that these fraudulent activities have been reduced an impressive 76%, the EMV chip system is not able to address all possible scenarios of card-not-present fraud. It is important that both merchants and consumers remain cautious and observant to guard against credit card and identity thieves.


30. 87% of surveyed adults in the US admit to shopping online over public WiFi.

(Experian)

Norton’s Wi-Fi Risk Report is an analysis of the way we use public Wi-Fi and for what purposes. One of the most concerning credit card fraud statistics in the US is the fact that an overwhelming 87% of adults admit they would not hesitate to use public Wi-Fi to access personal email, bank accounts, or shopping sites. What is credit card fraud and how identity theft happens should be very familiar to all card users by now.


31. By 2023, retailers will lose about $130 billion per year to fraudulent card-not-present transactions if they fail to keep up with digital fraud prevention measures.

(Juniper Research)

A mad rush to wring value out of stolen data is taking place right now on the dark web. With EMV or without it, card-not-present fraud is omnipresent. It hurts individuals as much as it hurts the global economy.

Applying projections to current credit card fraud loss statistics, it’s clear that the situation will get much worse before it gets much better.

If consumers continue blithely trusting banks and websites to keep them safe, if retailers fail to keep up with suggested digital fraud prevention measures, if banks continue to drag their heels when it comes to improved (and safer) digital access, then the battle against fraudsters is already lost. Fraudsters are highly motivated to adopt the latest technology and keep up with trends. They are fully prepared to monetize their knowledge and extract $130 billion per year by 2023, just as researchers warn. Everyone must act if they are not content to become part of the dismal statistics on credit card fraud.


Changing the odds

We may not be able to secure you an Olympic gold medal or give you a winning Powerball ticket, but we’ve compiled some worrisome statistics on credit card fraud that could be just as valuable. We hope they inspire you to be more protective and to minimize your chance of being a victim of the next wave of credit card frauds.

Nothing is 100% foolproof. But if you keep up with credit card fraud statistics and practice simple prudence, we stand a fighting chance of staying a step or two ahead of the bad guys.

FAQ

How much do credit card companies lose to fraud?

Experts have estimated that global card fraud losses will jump from $7 billion in 2017 to $35 billion by 2020.

How common is identity fraud?

There were 107,367 identity theft cases reported in the United States in 2018.

What is the average cost of identity theft?

In 2016, the median amount paid by consumers for each case was about $450.

What are the five most common types of identity theft?

  • Drivers license ID theft
  • Social Security ID theft
  • Medical ID theft
  • Character/criminal ID theft
  • Financial ID theft

These are the most common types of identity theft.

How long do credit card fraud investigations take?

From the moment you alert authorities and provide your bank all required documentation, they are obliged to respond within 30 days. A complete bank investigation can take up to 90 days.

What is the minimum sentence for identity theft?

A typical minimum sentence is two to five years in prison, depending if it relates to a terrorism offense or not. Sentences vary state by state.

Is credit card fraud on the rise?

According to the latest credit card fraud statistics, credit card fraud is slowing down, but other forms of fraud such as account fraud remain high.

Sources