Credit card fraud costs credit card companies and holders roughly 1.5 billion dollars a year. This is such a lucrative form of crime that some drug dealers have stopped dealing and have gone into the credit card racket. There are numerous forms of credit card fraud that can be committed by thieves, legitimate card holders and even business owners.
Lost or stolen credit cards make up half of the losses incurred by credit card companies each year. The greatest number of stolen cards are taken from the card holders vehicles. Following closely in second place is the theft of credit cards in the workplace.
Not Received Items (NRI) are new or replacement cards that have been mailed to the proper individual, but have been claimed as not received. Cards can be stolen anywhere from the card issuer to the persons mailbox. Several security measures used to battle NRI incurred losses are duel dating, card activation and alternative delivery. Dual dating only allows the card to be activated one month after it has been mailed. This gives the cardholder time to report non-delivery of the card. Card activation requires the card holder to activate the card through a phone call before it can be used. To avoid high loss mail centers, alternative delivery is used. Private shipping companies are used with secure facilities to ensure no employee theft.
Fraudulent application is the use of information misrepresentation to obtain a bank card. The use of a true name with a false address is a common form of fraudulent application.
Counterfeit and altered credit cards are another form of credit card fraud. Counterfeit cards are those that are illegally manufactured by persons other than a issuing bank. Altered cards are genuine cards that have had it's properties changed by mechanical or electronic means. Embossed numbers can be flattened allowing reprinting and magnetic strips can be re-encoded to match or not to match the new number on the front.
Unauthorized use or no card present fraud are some of the easiest types of credit card fraud to commit. These crimes are known as "moto" crimes, standing for "money order telephone order". This is the ordering of merchandise in which the merchant only gets a credit card number and never verifies the validity of the card or looks at a signature.
Since credit card fraud is prevalent in today's society we must take steps to secure our credit cards. Treat credit cards as you would handle currency of the same value. Keep in mind a credit card with a $5000.00 limit could be used in the same manner as $5000.00 cash. Also remember losses by credit card companies are passed from the credit card companies to the consumer.