Credit card fraud is something every individual and business owner should be aware of, as reports of fraud increased significantly in 2022 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Reports for newly opened accounts rose over 13%, and on existing accounts rose over 23%. When it comes to fraud instances, credit cards have the highest reported.
There are a number of ways in which fraudsters can access your information, so it’s important to stay diligent about checking your accounts and taking measures to prevent the possibility of fraud occurring.
How Credit Card Fraud Can Happen
In a primarily digital world, our information is being shared in a wide variety of places. Some are legitimate, while others are not. To help protect yourself against credit card fraud, it’s critical to know the difference and to be very careful sharing your information online.
One popular way for fraudsters to steal your information is through phishing scams. Phishing entails sending out fake emails, texts, or other messages that can be mistaken as legitimate, such as from a bank, the IRS, or another financial institution. They will request personal financial information that requires clicking on a link, providing login information, etc. This can also make you susceptible to malware which makes it even easier for hackers to gain your information from personal accounts. Never click on a link or provide information to emails or other communications that are unprompted. If you are concerned that the issue is legitimate, contact your financial institution separate from any communications you received.
Another common way fraudsters achieve these scams is through online shopping. Oftentimes, threat actors will design fake websites that offer products at extremely low prices compared to other online marketplaces to entice a consumer to purchase and therefore provide their credit card information. Be wary of making a purchase from any site that cannot be confirmed as legitimate.
If a retailer or other location you frequent experiences a data breach, you may be subject to cybercriminals being able to steal your information. Although there’s no way for you to control this happening, if you are made aware of a data breach of this sort, contact your financial institution immediately.
How to Detect Credit Card Fraud
In order to ensure you haven’t experienced credit card fraud, it’s extremely important to keep an eye on your financials on a regular basis. This includes looking for any suspicious purchases in your account and monitoring your credit regularly. If anything stands out as questionable, you should report it to your card issuer or bank immediately. Many card issuers will send out automatic alerts for transactions that seem suspicious, but you should also be keeping an eye on this yourself to confirm the legitimacy.
Card fraud can happen to anyone, but you can take proactive measures to help protect yourself from the threat. If you have been a victim of credit card fraud, be sure to report it immediately. You can do so by contacting your credit card issuer, placing a fraud alert through one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion), or reporting it to law enforcement. Additionally, if you have any suspicions of fraudulent behavior, be sure to update your passwords and security settings.
At Republic Bank, we want to keep you and your financial information safe. Call 800-526-9127 to speak to one of our bankers and be sure to visit our resource library for more small business banking and financial planning tips.