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Secure Passwords Secure Passwords
Weak passwords are an easy way for your credit data to be compromised. Secure your important online accounts secure with a strong password and change it often.  It’s one of the easiest things you can do to protect against credit & identity fraud.  
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Shred It Shred It
Did you know that identity thieves will go through your trash looking for documents with social security & credit card numbers?  Shredding your sensitive information can help keep your information secure.  
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Monitoring Monitoring
You should receive a free copy of your credit report (annualcreditreport.com) & check your accounts regularly for suspicious activity.  Also consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that will alert you of changes to your credit reports
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Phone Security Phone Security
Identity thieves acting as legitimate businesses may ask you for credit card numbers, pin numbers or passwords.  Be careful who you give this information to over the phone.  You never really know who you’re talking to.
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Did You Know?

Studies have shown that more cases of identity theft are being committed by the friends and family of the victims.  A recent study found that 32% of ID & credit fraud victims found that a relative or family member had stolen their identity.  Another study found that more than 18% of ID theft victims had their information stolen by a friend, neighbor or employee.

Credit Fraud Statistics

Credit Card FraudType of Credit Card FraudFraud Complaints by AgeCredit Card Fraud by StatePositive Fraud Facts
Once of the newest innovations credit card thieves have employed is the use of a credit card skimmer.  This little device is placed over the legitimate card reader at an ATM location, gas station pump or other location that accepts credit & debit cards.  The device scans, reads and stores the card information and, in some cases, a small camera records the victims pin number as they enter it on the keypad.  Once this happens the thief has total control over your credit card and can use it to fraudulently make purchases or withdraw money from your accounts. Be cautious when using these locations that accept credit cards.  If you notice anything suspicious about the card reader, report it to the bank or other company immediately.

Percent of Americans who have been victims of credit card fraud10 %
Percent of Americans who have been victims of debit or ATM card fraud7 %
Median amount reported on credit card fraud$399
Percent of all financial fraud related to credit cards40 %
Total amount of credit card fraud worldwide$5.55 Billion
(source – http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-fraud-statistics)

One of the more significant concerns when using a credit card is the risk of credit card fraud.  Unfortunately fraudulent credit card activity can occur when you least expect it and with little or no warning to the cardholder.  The consequences generally range from an annoyance to a worst case scenario of having your entire identity stolen and used to commit wide ranges of fraud.  There are several classes of credit card fraud including credit card theft, counterfeit credit cards, no card fraud & credit application fraud.  Below are some of the statistics related to credit card fraud as reported in 2012.  Learn why you may a high risk for credit card fraud.

Counterfeit Credit Cards37%
Lost of Stolen23%
No-Card Fraud (i.e. giving card information to a non-legit telemarketer)10%
Stolen cards during mailing fraud7%
Identity-Theft Fraud4%
(source – http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-fraud-statistics)

Credit card fraud does not discriminate based on age.  Persons of any age are potential victims of having their credit cards stolen and misused without the knowledge of the card holder.  The statistics below show a breakdown of the credit card fraud complaints by the age of the cardholder.  This data was taken from a 2012 study of credit fraud in the United States.

20 – 2919%
30 – 3922%
40 – 4925%
50 – 5925%
60 +10%
(source – http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-fraud-statistics)

Nevada412.9
Colorado412.4
New Hampshire387.2
Maryland393.6
Oregon291.7
Alaska377.7
Washington376.1

*Rate per 100,000 people

(source – http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-card-fraud-statistics)

While all indications point to an increase in credit fraud, there are some positives that should be noted. Improvements in credit reporting have lowered the timeframe for resolving most fraud cases. In 2010, the average time for direct resolution with credit card companies was approximately twenty one hours. When compared to previous years, this number is close to 30% lower. Furthermore, fraud victims are selecting to file police reports following credit & identity theft. This alone has more than doubled the number of arrests related to credit fraud cases in the United States.

Additional Resources

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