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42 percent of US consumers report card fraud

October 31, 2012

| Money Rates Columnist

U.S. consumers aren't the only victims of card fraud, but they are among the most likely to experience fraudulent activity, according to a recent study.

The annual ACI Worldwide Global Fraud Report found a quarter of all consumers across the globe had been impacted by pre-paid, debit or credit card fraud in the past five years. However, the problem was more prevalent in the United States, with 42 percent of those surveyed saying they had direct experience with fraudulent activity.

The only country reporting a higher level of fraud was Mexico, with 44 percent of those surveyed saying they had experienced card fraud in the past five years. Countries with the lowest levels of fraud were The Netherlands and Sweden, which tied with only 12 percent of their residents experiencing fraud.

Consumers want banks to notify them

In addition to looking at the rate of pre-paid, debit and credit card fraud, the study considered consumer attitudes. An overwhelming number of those surveyed expressed a desire to partner with banks when it came to fraud prevention efforts. Overall, 82 percent of respondents said they would like to be notified of unusual activity on their account prior to the bank taking action.

Consumers prefer to be called on their mobile phone immediately when suspicious activity has been detected. Email and text messages were other methods by which many consumers said they would want to be notified. The 2012 survey results were notable because they did not include notification by home phone, which was the second most preferred method cited in the 2011 survey.

Cards use drops but risky behavior continues after fraud

After an experience with card fraud, 21 percent of cardholders stopped using their accounts or switched to a new card. Of those who received a replacement card, 45 percent of those surveyed used the new card less than the original one. In addition, half of those who experienced card fraud reported using cash or another payment alternative rather than their pre-paid, debit or credit card.

While 49 percent of consumers were concerned identity theft could harm their financial rating and status, many continue to engage in behaviors putting them at risk for card fraud.

Among the risky behaviors identified by the ACI Worldwide Global Fraud Report are the following activities:

  • Keeping written records of PINs
  • Failing to shred documents containing sensitive information before disposing of them
  • Using public or unsecure computers to conduct online banking or shopping

"While there have been significant advances in fraud prevention technology, it is clear that more needs to be done to educate consumers about fraud and engage them as allies when it occurs," said Mike Braatz, Senior Vice President of Payments Fraud for ACI Worldwide, in a written statement.

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