Credit Card Fraud in the USA - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Credit Card Fraud in the USA” the author analyzes the theft or counterfeit of the credit card which is then illegally used to obtain funds, services or goods by means of deception. Credit card fraud is considered a white-collar crime…
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Credit Card Fraud in the USA
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Download file to see previous pages The onus falls on the merchants to pay for the credit card fraud and if it lacks in proper insurance, they have to incur the chargeback fee as well. The US is moving towards a cashless society but credit card theft has become a major concern of retailers, consumers, credit card issuers and the law enforcement agencies (Hearn, 1986). Credit cards were introduced in the 1950s and since then fraudsters have been finding ways to attack the system (Byrne, 2010). According to The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice, there were 176.8 million credit card holders in 2008 and the average cardholder has 3.5 credit cards (Woolsey & Schulz, 2011). Credit cards represent the majority of the total $315 billion US financial fraud loss in 2005 while according to a European study more than 22 million adults were victims to credit card fraud in 2006 (Conlin, 2007). According to the 2009 LexisNexis True Cost of Fraud Study, retailers lose $100bn a year to consumer-facing fraud. Twenty-four percent of all retailers, 43% of whom have a strong online presence, reported increase in losses through credit card fraud. Most card fraud payment losses were borne by the card issuers (59%) followed by the merchants (41%), says Sullivan (2010). In 2006 the total fraud losses were estimated at $3.718bn as per table provided below: Source: Sullivan (2010). The process for approving card payments depends to a large extent on information. The criminals have an incentive to steal this information and this leads to attacks on computers, data breaches and ultimately payment fraud. Card fraud is the highest in the United States than countries such as UK, Spain and Netherlands. Better technology in the payment approval system can help combat fraud to some extent. Online payment approval permits automated checks against wider sets of information such as the cardholder’s zip code or transaction history (Sullivan, 2010). Criminals gather such information and use it to commit fraud. Criminals steal wallets, intercept mail and get access to account statements, or even spy and gather information when the card is in use. Video cameras secretly placed can capture valuable information. Phishing and hacking are other modes through which criminals gather information to conduct fraud. Credit and charge card fraud cost cardholders and issuers millions of dollars each year. Earlier the fraud used to occur over the telephone when the fraudster posed as an organization representative and offered incentives in exchange for credit card information. Theft is the most common form of fraud but people can also use the card number without the knowledge of the owner of the card (FTC, 2009). The thief eyes the trash to collect discarded receipts or carbons through which it is possible to obtain the credit card number. Others ways in which fraud can occur is when dishonest clerks make an extra imprint and use the card details to make personal charges. Now the criminals use packet-sniffing programs on the Internet and steal credit card information electronically. The largest case in the US credit card fraud history took place in 2008 when Albert Gonzalez and his team attacked TJX and other companies (Byrne, 2010). They acquired more than 130 million debit and credit card numbers and stole tens of millions of dollars. These were basically of customers of 7-eleven and other retail giants.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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