Credit Card Fraud Rising | VideoRetha Colclasure | 11/29/2012
Last week, I became one of the millions of Americans who discovered fraudulent activity on my credit card. I was lucky, my company noticed the unauthorized attempts, all of which had been declined, and called me before any damage was done. But many others aren`t so fortunate.
You`ve probably used your card a few times already this shopping season. And most likely, nothing bad happened. But so far this year, 113 people in Bismarck have found that someone else was adding charges to their card.
"One just today, his card was used in Ontario at an ATM," said Lt. Bob Haas with the Bismarck Police Department.
That`s a case he says the Bismarck police are unlikely to ever solve a common problem they face when a credit card or debit card number is stolen, and used either online, out of state or out of the country.
"This is going to be a growing trend. We`re seeing more and more all the time," said Haas.
Every time you use your card, your information is saved...somewhere. At a large retailer or bank, it`s probably safe.
"The industry spends money on firewall and security systems. Smaller retailers may not have those safeguards in place," said Rick Clayburgh with the North Dakota Bankers Association.
The industry is also spending money to monitor accounts and often notifies victims before they even know it`s happened.
"Buy something in Bismarck in the morning, then that afternoon your card is used in San Francisco, flag and tag out," Clayburgh said.
But that might not identify activity if a card was stolen the old fashioned way, from an unattended wallet or purse, and used in the same community. So that`s why police say it`s important to keep track of your credit cards, treat them like cash and monitor your accounts to help protect yourself from falling victim to fraud.
Those 113 fraud reports this year is up from a total of 83 all last year and just 43 five years ago.