Credit cards make transactions fast and easy, but with convenience comes risk. Credit card theft cases have been trending, with 4,824,849 reports from 2001 to 2022.
Even worse, law enforcement only solved 1% of these reports. While the chance of getting your money back is slim, you can take steps to prevent credit card theft.
In this article, you'll discover the latest credit card theft statistics and trends. Let's dive in!
Editor's Top Picks
- Credit card theft reports escalated to 5.73 million in 2021.
- 49% of all reported consumer-related fraud in 2021 was credit card fraud.
- 77.3% of identity theft victims experienced emotional distress.
- Credit card data on the dark web skyrocketed by 135% last year.
- Fraudsters exposed over 160 million records of credit card information in the US.
- 81% of card-not-present theft is more likely to happen than point-of-sale theft.
- 2030 will see a global loss of $49.32 billion because of credit card theft.
- 87% of US adults use public WiFi for online shopping.
- Over 1 million children in the US are victims of identity theft.
- Half of consumers observed a change in shopping habits following a credit card theft incident.
Credit Card Statistics Overview
In the US, 191 million adults own at least one credit card account. 50% of all Americans own at least two cards, and 13% own at least five. Among consumers, 36% use their credit cards to pay.
To avoid falling prey to their traps, equip yourself with the latest credit card theft statistics. Continue reading for more information.
Credit Card Theft Report Statistics
There were 389,845 credit card fraud reports in 2021, down 1% from 2020. Most theft cases go unreported to the FTC because issuers handle them.
For more credit card theft reports, refer to the statistics below:
1. Credit card theft reports escalated to 5.73 million in 2021.
(Federal Trade Commission)
There were 2.93 million reports of credit card theft in 2017, 3.16 million in 2018, 3.42 million in 2019, and 4.86 million in 2020. The data clearly shows that credit card theft is on the rise.
2. 49% of all reported consumer-related fraud was credit card fraud.
(Federal Trade Commission)
Of the 5.7 million fraud reports, credit card fraud accounted for 2.8 million, identity theft for 1.4 million, and other cases for 1.5 million.
The fraud reports with the highest median individual losses are:
- Foreign money
- Counterfeit check
- Business and job fraud reports
3. 77.3% of identity theft victims experienced emotional distress.
(Identity Theft Resource Center)
Credit card theft crimes show some psychological effects:
- 85.7% of the victims felt angry and frustrated.
- 77.3% had trust issues, lost opportunities, and financial difficulties.
- 69.4% felt helpless.
In a European survey, 79% of credit card theft victims experienced emotional distress. Moreover, 2 in 5 surveyed residents had mental health issues due to scams.
4. Fraud in the Mexican online market has increased by 74%.
Mexico now has the second-most credit card thefts worldwide after the US. Credit card theft statistics revealed a significant rise in online scams in 2018.
One major cause is international transactions. Mexicans use cash as one of their primary payment methods, but credit card transactions still make up 45% of payments.
5. Credit card data on the dark web skyrocketed by 135% last year.
(Credit Union Times)
Online scammers needed another way to steal credit card data. That said, scammers have set up their marketplace on the dark web. Due to data breaches and credit card theft doubling in a year, data on the market is in high demand.
6. Fraudsters exposed over 160 million records of credit card information in the US.
(Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council)
Online scammers exposed more than 160 million records among the 1,152 data breaches. The data showed over 100 million banking, credit, and financial records.
In 2019, a data breach exposed 62% of records from financial services. The finance and healthcare sectors are most vulnerable to credit card theft.
7. 81% of card-not-present theft is more likely to happen than point-of-sale theft.
(Javelin Strategy & Research)
Consumers can avoid ATM lines and over-the-counter payments with a few taps on their phones. However, online scamming keeps fraudsters going. In 2018, online credit card theft was 81% more likely than physical theft.
8. Over half of consumers changed their shopping habits after a credit card theft.
56% of online shoppers closed their credit cards, switched merchants, and lessened their online shopping after every fraud. Victims also suffered from anxiety, which affected their shopping habits and financial management.
Credit Card Theft Loss/Damage Statistics
In the last two decades, financial losses from credit card theft have increased to $14.23 billion. $5.8 billion was lost to fraud—$2.4 billion more than in 2020.
Global credit card theft losses exceeded $32 billion in 2021, with the US accounting for a $12 billion loss. How much more are we going to lose in the next ten years? Let's find out.
9. New credit card accounts lost in Q1 2023 increased by 13%.
Of the 516,217 credit card theft reports in the first quarter, 107,209 were for new accounts. It surpasses the 10,727 reports for existing accounts. New and existing account losses increased 13% and 14%, respectively, from the previous quarter.
10. Credit card issuers, merchants, and consumers lost $28.58 billion.
Credit, debit, and prepaid card transactions generated $41.962 trillion in 2020. However, credit card scams credited 6.81 cents per $100 volume.
The $25.27 billion lost from Visa, Mastercard, UnionPay, American Express, Discover/Diners Club, and JCB accounted for 88.43% of the global loss.
11. The US accounted for 35.83% of global card fraud in 2020.
The wide use of card-not-present (CNP) transactions has increased credit card theft losses in the United States. The global loss increased in 2020 from 33.58% last year. CNP sales increased due to the pandemic, but the trend continued.
12. Credit card theft resulted in an $18.34 billion global loss.
Of the $18.34 billion global loss, the US accounted for $10.1 billion. Credit, debit, and prepaid issuers lost $18.69 billion.
The cost of credit card theft per $100 was 5.63 cents in 2020 and 5.79 cents in 2019. Investigations, call centers, and operation costs for issuers, merchants, and acquirers will increase these costs annually.
13. The US recorded the lowest percentage of credit card theft in 2020, at 3.5%.
Credit card theft in the US was surprisingly low in 2020, compared with 5% in 2019, 4.5% in 2018, 5.2% in 2017, 4.2% in 2016, and 5.7% in 2015.
The pandemic caused people to stay home and use their cards less. On the other hand, credit card theft reports and fraud losses per 1,000 people in the UK are the highest in Europe.
14. A $49.32 billion loss from global credit card theft is projected in 2030.
The number of card transactions will reach 79.140 trillion in 2030. With that, the losses due to credit card theft are also expected to increase. These losses will reach $397 billion in ten years.
Experts expect the industry to reduce losses to 6.23 cents per $100, resulting in a $408.50 billion loss.
Credit Card Theft Demographic Statistics
43% of credit card theft reports came from 20- to 29-year-olds. It is higher than those aged 70 to 79 (23%) and 80 and above (22%). However, the median loss is higher for older people.
Two-thirds of child identity theft victims were under 8. Meanwhile, the US and Europe had the most credit card theft cases worldwide.
Victims have already spoken. The following statistics shed light on credit card theft demographics:
15. 35% of American consumers have been victims of credit card fraudsters.
People are likelier to become victims of credit card theft the older they get. The findings suggest the following victims of such fraud:
- 33.1% of millennials
- 37.6% of Generation X
- 42.6% of baby boomers
16. 32% of Americans who reported credit card theft were aged 30–39.
With 84% of US adults having a credit card, theft incidents were prevalent in the US in 2021. The data below shows the percentage of credit card victims by age:
- 20-29 y/o: 18% (19,010 of all reports)
- 40-49 y/o: 23% (23,476)
- 50-59 y/o: 15% (15,221)
- 60-69 y/o: 8% (7,951)
- 70-79 y/o: 3% (2,948)
People in their 30s were the most affected by credit card theft. About 33,287 individuals reported such incidents.
17. 87% of US adults use public WiFi for online shopping.
The use of public WiFi doesn't guarantee the safety of accessing sites. It makes tracking login information such as email, phone, and account numbers easy for scammers. Most websites don't encrypt their data either.
18. Identity theft affected over 1 million US children; 18% of cases involved a parent's partner.
(Javelin Strategy & Research)
Children can easily upload their personal information online, making them vulnerable to fraud. Shockingly, 7% of young identity theft victims knew the perpetrator.
Identity and credit card theft often coincide because bank accounts require personal information. In 2017, children's identity theft cost parents $540 million.
19. 23% of men had their identities stolen, and only 11% of women.
Women are more private, with 70% of them fearing victimization. However, only 64% of men find it troubling.
Women are also 63% more likely to protect their social profiles than men (50%). It indicates a significant gender gap in privacy concerns.
20. Female identity theft victims were 40% more likely to report distress than male victims.
Regardless of recovery, victims who lost more money experience more emotional distress. It also suggests that the emotional impact of identity theft differs between genders.
21. Caucasians are the most common victims of identity theft, accounting for 65%.
White, African American, and Native American victims outnumber their representation in the general US population. Identity theft cases rarely involve Hispanics, Asian Americans, or Pacific Islanders.
22. 21% of identity theft victims were high-earning individuals.
(Federal Trade Commission)
Anyone can be a victim of fraud. People with over $75,000 annual income were prone to identity theft. The percentage is close to people who make less than $20,000, with 17% reporting identity theft.
The Bottom Line
Online transactions have made our lives easier than ever before. However, it gets annoying when people try to scam you online.
The influx of information online doesn't help, as it has paved the way for credit card theft. With one wrong move, scammers can wipe out your money and identity.
Now, it's up to you how you break the chain after knowing the reality of credit card theft.