Credit card fraud statistics

1 min readLast updated June 13, 2023by Charlie Barton

Discover the types of credit card fraud, yearly fraud amounts, fraud reports by age, and top states with high fraud cases.

Types of credit card fraud

Credit card fraud encompasses various methods and avenues, ranging from online transactions to in-person incidents. Fraudsters employ tactics like phishing emails, data breaches, and physical theft of cards to exploit unsuspecting individuals. It is crucial to be aware of the different types of credit card fraud in order to protect oneself.

Here are some prevalent forms of credit card fraud:

  1. Card-not-present (CNP) fraud: In this type of fraud, criminals steal a cardholder's credit card details and personal information, subsequently using them to make unauthorized purchases online or over the phone. Verifying the buyer's identity becomes challenging for merchants due to the absence of a physical card.

  2. Credit card application fraud: Fraudsters use stolen personal information, including name, address, birthday, and social security number, to apply for credit cards in the victim's name. This type of fraud often goes unnoticed until the victim applies for credit or checks their credit report. While the victim is typically not held responsible for fraudulent purchases made with the stolen credit card accounts, it can still negatively impact their credit score.

  3. Account takeover: Scammers, armed with stolen personal information, contact credit card companies impersonating the cardholder. They manipulate the account by changing passwords and PIN numbers, enabling them to gain control. This type of fraud is usually discovered when the legitimate cardholder attempts to use their card or access their account online.

  4. Credit card skimming: Despite the prevalence of chip-enabled cards, credit card skimming remains a prevalent fraud technique. Skimmers, devices placed on credit card readers, surreptitiously capture credit card information from the magnetic strip. Fraudsters often target ATMs, retail stores, gas stations, and other establishments. The stolen information is either sold to other scammers or used by the perpetrators to make unauthorized charges.

  5. Lost or stolen cards: One of the simplest forms of credit card fraud involves physically stealing someone's credit card or utilizing a lost card. Thieves may intercept cards sent via mail to the legitimate cardholders.

Yearly Credit Card Fraud Amounts in the US

The table below shows the annual credit card fraud amounts in the United States from 2014 to 2021.

From 2014 to 2016, credit card fraud amounts exhibited a gradual increase, indicating a growing concern. This upward trend continued in subsequent years, with significant jumps in 2017 and 2018, reaching $23.97 billion and $27.86 billion, respectively. Although there was a slight dip in 2019, the overall trend remained on an upward trajectory, culminating in a peak of $32.34 billion in 2021. These numbers underscore the persistent efforts of fraudsters to exploit vulnerabilities and necessitate proactive measures to enhance security and mitigate risks associated with credit card fraud.

By closely monitoring these trends and employing robust fraud detection and prevention strategies, stakeholders can work towards safeguarding individuals, businesses, and the overall financial landscape from the detrimental impacts of credit card fraud.

Yearly Credit Card Fraud Amounts in the US (Card Fraud Worldwide Data):

  1. 2014: $18.11 billion

  2. 2015: $21.84 billion

  3. 2016: $22.80 billion

  4. 2017: $23.97 billion

  5. 2018: $27.86 billion

  6. 2019: $28.65 billion

  7. 2020: $28.43 billion

  8. 2021: $32.34 billion

Credit card fraud by age

An analysis of credit card fraud by age group reveals intriguing insights. The 30-39 age group records the highest number of fraud incidents (108,592), signifying their vulnerability. Close behind, the 40-49 age group (76,693) faces notable risks due to financial stability and credit card usage. Young adults aged 20-29 (65,269) encounter significant threats due to their familiarity with digital platforms. 

Notably, fraud reports decline as age increases, potentially reflecting heightened awareness and cautious financial habits. Targeted prevention measures and awareness campaigns can bolster consumer protection against credit card fraud across different age groups.

Credit card fraud reports by age (Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 202):

  • 19 and under: 1,707

  • 20-29: 65,269

  • 30-39: 108,592

  • 40-49: 76,693

  • 50-59: 45,741

  • 60-69: 21,992

  • 70-79: 7,507

  • 80 and over: 1,954

Credit card fraud by state

Analyzing credit card fraud cases per 100,000 people reveals interesting patterns across states. In the first group, populous states like Georgia, Florida, California, and Texas experience higher rates of credit card fraud. States known for tourism, such as Nevada and New York, also feature prominently. 

Conversely, the second group comprises states with lower populations, like South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming, which report relatively lower fraud rates. Understanding these variations helps in tailoring prevention measures and raising awareness to combat credit card fraud effectively at a regional level.

Top10 states with the highest number of credit card fraud cases per 100,000 people (Finder Data):

  1. Georgia

  2. Florida

  3. California

  4. Texas

  5. Nevada

  6. Maryland

  7. Delaware

  8. Michigan

  9. Illinois

  10. New York

Top10 states with the highest number of credit card fraud cases per 100,000 people (Finder Data):

  1. South Dakota

  2. Vermont

  3. Wyoming

  4. North Dakota

  5. Iowa

  6. Maine

  7. West Virginia

  8. Nebraska

  9. Montana

  10. Idaho

How to protect yourself from credit card fraud

Protecting yourself from credit card fraud is crucial in today's digital age. According to Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Here are some essential steps you can take to safeguard your financial information:

  • Don’t shop on unsecure websites. Make sure you verify that a website is authentic before making a purchase.

  • Beware of phishing scams that aim to ask for your personal and credit card information. Never send your credit card information via email or give it over the phone unsolicited.

  • Don't use public Wi-Fi for financial transactions.

  • Review your credit reports regularly. Report any fraud right away.

  • Review your bank and credit card statements regularly. Report any fraud right away.

  • Shred unwanted documents that show your credit card number.

  • Contact your credit card company right away if you lose your card.

Finding a financial adviser is vital for both making informed financial decisions and protecting yourself against fraud. Their expertise not only helps you navigate complex financial matters but also provides an additional layer of security by keeping you informed about potential scams and fraudulent activities. By working with a trusted adviser, you can make sound choices while minimizing the risk of falling victim to financial fraud


Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.