Security & Fraud

Why US Credit Card Fraud Complaints Are On The Rise

Credit card fraud complaints in the U.S. saw the biggest increase in 10 years in 2015, with the number rising by 41 percent.

ValuePenguin analyzed data collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and found that there were approximately 70,000 credit card fraud complaints submitted in 2015. The significant jump in complaints, also a record number for complaints submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, are predicted to worsen in the future.

The number of complaints reported in 2015 were the highest since before the 2009 recession, and ValuePenguin estimated that recent advancements in credit card security will do little to combat this.

At the state level, the number of credit card fraud complaints were much more pronounced. Florida saw its complaint numbers increase by a staggering 130 percent since 2011. The state led the nation for the most per capita credit card fraud complaints for the second year in a row, with 7,999 complaints in 2015.

California, which took second place for per capita complaints, actually had the highest reported figure with more than 12,800 reported cases of credit card fraud.

D.C., Nevada and Connecticut also saw high figures for credit card fraud reports.

Across the U.S., the average number of complaints totaled 18.17 per 10,000 residents.

On the other end of the spectrum, South Dakota saw only 7.98 complaints per 100,000 residents. West Virginia, Iowa, Idaho and Kentucky rounded out the top five states with the least amount of reported credit card fraud.

According to ValuePenguin, it's likely that credit card fraud will continue to migrate online as EMV chip cards have made it harder for card-present fraud to work.

Robert Siciliano, security expert and CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com, said that the huge jump in the instances of credit card fraud complaints last year are due to the increase number of data breaches that have taken place within the last five years.

Data from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), found that the frequency of data breaches, which subsequently compromised payment card information, spiked in 2009 and hit a low in 2012.

But since then, reported breaches have more than doubled.

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