Credit Card Fraud Statistics and Facts

In the end of 2005, MasterCard and Visa generated a sales volume of more than $190.6 billion, from the circulation of approximately 56.4 million credit cards across Canada. Credit card fraud statistics show that about $2.8 million was lost due to credit card fraud, from fraudulent use of MasterCard and Visa alone. In total, credit card fraud costs cardholders and credit card issuers as much as $500 million a year.

Who pays for the loss? Everyone. Even if you haven’t been defrauded yourself, the cost of goods and services increases to pay off the credit and charge card frauds.


Credit Card Fraud and Technology

Transactions completed with credit cards seem to become more and more popular with the introduction of online shopping and banking. Correspondingly, the number of credit card frauds has also increased with the introduction of newer technology. From embossers to encoders to decoders, credit card counterfeiters are now using the latest technology to read, change, and implant magnetic information on counterfeit credit cards.


What Are Counterfeiters Doing with the Cards?

Counterfeiters mainly use fake identities to receive government assistance, unemployment insurance benefits, personal loans, and to scheme corporations and individuals. Counterfeit credit card is the most common type of credit card fraud and is responsible for 37% of the millions lost yearly by credit fraud in Canada.


Types of Credit Card Fraud

Credit fraud can fall into one of five categories:


  • Counterfeit credit card
  • Lost or Stolen Cards
  • No-Card Fraud
  • Non-Receipt Fraud
  • Identity Theft Fraud


The percentage that each type of credit card fraud represents is described below:


  • Counterfeit credit card: Makes up for 37% of all funds lost through credit card frauds. To make fake cards criminals use the newest technology to “skim” information contained on magnetic stripes of cards and to pass security features such as holograms.


  • Lost or Stolen Cards: Cards stolen from their cardholders or lost by them account for 23% of all card frauds. Often, cards are stolen from the workplace, gym, and unattended vehicles.


  • No-Card Fraud: Comprises 10% of all the losses and is completed without the physical card in hand. This can happen by giving your credit card information on the phone to shady telemarketers and deceptive Internet sites that are promoting the sales of their non-existent goods and services.


  • Non-Receipt Fraud: Is responsible for 7% of all losses. It occurs when new or replaced cards mailed by your card company are stolen during the process of being mailed. However, this type of fraud is on the decline with the card-activation process that most companies use. In 1992, non-receipt fraud represented16 % of the losses.


  • Identity-Theft Fraud: Accounts for 4% of all losses, and occurs when criminals apply for a card using someone else’ identity and information.

    Source: Royal Canadian Mounted Police


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    Identity theft comes in many forms.

    A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

    Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

    There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

    *Never give out unnecessary personal information
    *Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
    *Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.