Credit Card Fraud Alerts Surge 15%, But Many False Alarms

By Personal Finance FOXBusiness

If you received a fraud alert from your credit or debit card in recent years—you are not alone, according to a new report from Creditcards.com released Friday.

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The survey found that credit and debit card fraudulent claims are up 15% from two years ago, with nearly 31% of U.S. adults saying they have received a fraud alert regarding their credit card, while 25% got one about their debit card.


However, there is good news. The service found that of those claims, 37% were entirely legitimate purchases—another 15% say “most” were legitimate. Though one and four cardholders did say their bank got it right every time and only blocked false charges.

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“I don’t think the false alarms bother cardholders much. They understand how big a deal fraud is and why the banks send these alerts. As long as the false alarms don’t happen too often, most people see them as no big deal,” Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for Creditcards.com, tells FOX Business.


Schulz says the uptick in alerts is due to the rise of an abundance of caution that banks are facing.


“There’s just so much money at stake, and the bad guys are so good at what they do, that banks have to do whatever they can to get ahead of the game. Issuers would rather err on the side of sending out too many fraud alerts instead of too few, and thus false alarms can happen,” he adds.

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Additionally, the survey found that there is a certain demographic that credit card schemers like to pursue. Research showed that two-thirds of targeted adults had incomes of $75,000 or more, compared to just one in four adults making under $30,000 a year. When it came to education level, two-thirds of victims were college graduates, compared to one-fourth of those with a high school education or less.


And, while banks are increasingly deploying more sophisticated methods to combat credit card frauds, consumers are still getting contacted the old-fashion way—by phone. More than half say that got notified by a phone call, while only 14% say they got a text message.

 

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