What type of credit card fraud is the most common?

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Credit card fraud is a prevalent issue that affects millions of people worldwide. With the increasing popularity of online shopping and digital transactions, fraudsters have found new and sophisticated ways to exploit individuals’ financial information. In this article, we will explore the most common type of credit card fraud and shed light on how it occurs.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

1. Card Not Present (CNP) Fraud: CNP fraud is the most common type of credit card fraud. It occurs when a fraudster uses stolen credit card information to make purchases without physically presenting the card. This type of fraud is prevalent in online shopping, mail-order, and telephone transactions. Fraudsters obtain credit card details through various means, such as hacking databases, phishing scams, or purchasing stolen information on the dark web.

2. Counterfeit Card Fraud: Counterfeit card fraud involves creating fake credit cards using stolen card information. Fraudsters use devices called skimmers to collect card data from unsuspecting victims at ATMs, gas pumps, or other card readers. They then use this information to create counterfeit cards, which they can use to make unauthorized purchases or withdraw cash.

3. Lost or Stolen Card Fraud: This type of fraud occurs when a credit card is physically lost or stolen, and the thief uses it to make unauthorized transactions. It is crucial for cardholders to report lost or stolen cards immediately to their bank or credit card issuer to minimize the risk of fraudulent activity.

4. Identity Theft: Identity theft involves stealing someone’s personal information, including their credit card details, to assume their identity and make fraudulent transactions. Fraudsters can obtain this information through various means, such as phishing scams, hacking, or even dumpster diving for discarded documents containing sensitive information.

5. Account Takeover: Account takeover occurs when a fraudster gains unauthorized access to a victim’s credit card account. They may do this by obtaining the victim’s login credentials through phishing emails, malware, or other hacking techniques. Once they gain access, they can make unauthorized transactions, change account settings, or even sell the account information on the dark web.

Preventing Credit Card Fraud

While credit card fraud is a significant concern, there are several measures individuals can take to protect themselves:

1. Monitor Account Activity: Regularly review your credit card statements and transaction history to identify any suspicious or unauthorized charges. Report any discrepancies to your bank or credit card issuer immediately.

2. Use Secure Websites: When making online purchases, ensure that the website is secure. Look for the padlock symbol in the browser’s address bar and ensure the website’s URL starts with “https://” to indicate a secure connection.

3. Be Cautious with Personal Information: Avoid sharing your credit card details or personal information with unknown or untrusted sources. Be wary of phishing emails or phone calls requesting sensitive information.

4. Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Utilize two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your credit card accounts. This typically involves entering a unique code sent to your mobile device in addition to your login credentials.


Card Not Present (CNP) fraud is the most common type of credit card fraud, followed by counterfeit card fraud, lost or stolen card fraud, identity theft, and account takeover. As technology advances, fraudsters continue to find new ways to exploit individuals’ financial information. It is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant, take necessary precautions, and promptly report any suspicious activity to their bank or credit card issuer.


– Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov
– Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: www.consumerfinance.gov
– The Balance: www.thebalance.com
– Experian: www.experian.com