Credit card fraud increasing as demand grows

Credit card fraud has tripled over the last five years, according to travel advisory company UpgradedPoints

According to the report, the majority of the increase has been through application fraud. Reported cases have risen tenfold to 14 per 10,000 consumers in 2022 from 1.4 in 2004. Consumers ages 30 to 39 were the age segment with the most reports of credit card fraud per year at nearly 125,000. Residents aged 80 and over reported just 2,566 cases of credit card fraud annually.  

 “With phishing scams becoming more sophisticated and many major companies experiencing data breaches, malicious actors today have more ways to obtain personal information needed to commit credit card fraud,” said UpgradedPoints Founder and CEO Alex Miller.  

The aggregate, inflation-adjusted credit limit for new consumer accounts was around $76 billion in the first quarter of 2020, but that fell by more than half to $35 billion the following quarter due to pandemic lockdowns and stimulus payments. Credit limits increased again in 2021 and by the end of last year, banks issued new consumer credit at their highest levels in six years.

UpgradedPoints also determined the metropolitan areas with the highest rates of credit card fraud by analyzing the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2022 and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. 

Regional metropolitan areas included in the top 50 include: 

  • Chicago-Naperville-Elgin at No. 16 with 15 reports per 10,000 residents. 
  • Detroit-Warren-Dearborn at No. 29 with 10.9 reports per 10,000 residents. 
  • Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson at No. 31 with 10.5 reports per 10,000 residents. 
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha at No. 38 with 8.5 reports per 10,000 residents. 

Credit card fraud occurred more frequently in the southeast and southwest United States and was less prevalent in the central and New England regions. Florida led the way in fraud reports per 10,000 residents at 26.9, with Miami topping all cities with 51.4 per 10,000 residents, nearly four times the national rate of 13.5.