Cybercrime and financial fraud has been running rampant in recent years, causing many to worry about how they can safely spend money using their credit cards. With fears of credit card fraud at all time highs, the need to combat the growing trend is apparent. However, in order to get closer to the worldwide goal of stopping international credit card fraud, we must look at the numbers.
Calculating the Risks: Preventing Credit Card Fraud
The Paypers recently released an excellent article detailing the numbers behind credit card fraud. According to Sift Science, which provided the numbers, most fraud that occurs in the U.S. is committed at 3 AM, during weekdays. The study also shows that men are more likely to commit the fraud than women, and the hardest-hit states are Alaska and Delaware.
What’s more, credit card transactions that range from 0 to 25 USD are twice as likely to be fraudulent. This shows that many fraudsters often test stolen credit card accounts by making small, unnoticeable purchases first.
What to Do With This Information
The findings themselves may seem random or meaningless, but there is much we can interpret from these numbers. For instance, since most fraud occurs in the middle of the night, it is likely that these credit card fraud operations are being conducted by individuals from Eastern Europe, China, or Russia, all noted hotspots of fraud activity.
Second, merchants should pay closer attention to transaction data to detect fraud early. If multiple accounts are linked to the same device, it could be a sign of fraud. Another thing to watch out for is mismatching billing and shipping addresses, especially if the two addresses are not close to each other.
Merchants are the First Line of Defense
As seen in the infamous Target data breach of 2013, mass credit card fraud can hit anywhere, anytime. There is little that consumers can do besides keep an eye on their account activity and billing statements, so it falls on merchants to lead the fight against fraud. Make sure your site and POS systems are PCI compliant, and actively monitor your transactions for obvious signs of fraud. All businesses, whether retail or online, should also take advantage of any specialized merchant services that help with fraud protection or prevention. It could mean the livelihood of your business, as well as the financial security of your consumers.