Credit card fraud occurs on nearly a daily basis in the United States. According to the ‘2011 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book’, issued by the Federal Trade Commission [http://ftc.gov/sentinel/reports/sentinel-annual-reports/sentinel-cy2011.pdf], almost 280,000 complaints of identity theft were received last year, and of those, 14 percent, nearly 40,000, were the victims of credit card fraud and debit card fraud. The size and intricacies of Internet fraud continue to grow each year as well, as criminals find new and more elaborate ways to scam the public. Presented here by ScoreSense, fraud cases that recently grabbed attention are highlighted as a reminder that fraud and scams are always occurring.
Earlier this year, four women in their early twenties were arrested for committing credit card fraud by manufacturing and then using card information obtained by identity theft. A banking insider was supplying the women with the stolen identity information, who in turn manufactured cards with the data and made purchases with them. Police found a complete credit card embossing and tipping machine in one of the suspect’s apartments. In all, 54 credit cards were manufactured, and over $35,000 in merchandise and gift cards was purchased. All four are charged with 16 counts of felony identity theft and credit card fraud.
In June of 2011, an individual was found guilty of bank fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft after devising several schemes to defraud hundreds of individual cardholders and several large creditors of millions of dollars. In one scheme, the individual, Jean-Daniel Perkins, bought and sold sensitive information, including financial and credit card information stolen from individuals through Internet fraud, and then used that information to manufacture credit cards. In a separate scheme, he set up merchant accounts with American Express, and then used hundreds of stolen individual American Express credit card account numbers to make fictitious purchases and pay himself for the delivery of non-existent goods. He is facing up to 50 years in prison for credit card fraud, plus additional counts.
In July, a criminal ring involving identity theft of social security cards was broken up, and several individuals were arrested. The scheme was two-fold. The first part of the scheme involved the purchase of stolen social security numbers. These cards, usually along with another form of fake ID, were then sold to “customers”. Co-conspirators then set about fraudulently building up the credit scores on the fake IDs by adding the name as an authorized user to the accounts of other co-conspirators. Once the credit scores were above 700, the “customers” were told to open bank accounts and credit card lines in the names of the stolen IDs, who then used these accounts to commit credit card fraud and debit card fraud.
Criminals are finding new ways to commit credit card fraud, and they could be doing it at your expense. Protecting your personal information is important, but it’s not enough to outsmart the ingenuity of cyber thieves. You need the protection afforded by credit monitoring service like ScoreSense, which has sophisticated technology to monitor your personal information 24/7 on the Internet to alert you to unauthorized activity.
If you are concerned about becoming the victim of credit card fraud, visit our website at www.scoresense.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.