All That Glitters Is Not Always Gold

Photo by Selena Qian

Last year during October, I was volunteering at an event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While I was there, I kept my debit card inside of my phone case on the table next to me as I was storing glasses in boxes. After I finished, I turned around to find that my new iPhone 6 and debit card were nowhere to be seen. At first, I thought I had misplaced it, but when I checked on my Chase account, it showed that my card had been used at a local Kroger nearby. My conclusion then was that it was stolen. We quickly called Chase, and they cancelled my card and they reimbursed me for the money the thief took, but we had to pay for another phone since we didn’t have insurance for it. Many have also shared a similar experience by getting their cards stolen or card number recorded and used by someone else.

According to American Banker, 47 percent of consumers in the United States have been victims of credit card fraud in the past five years. Within those five years, a few cases of fraud became widely known, such as the Yahoo breach and the Target credit card breach during the holiday season of 2013. The Target breach alone exposed 40 million credit and debit card users to fraud.

Fraud is so widespread because of the genius of hackers and a lack of knowledge among consumers. Many victims of fraud are usually at fault because they don’t know who to trust. E-mails might claim to be from one’s bank account or any large corporation that they’re a part of, but they are actually hackers looking for access to personal information. In addition, most people don’t memorize their bank’s phone number and might accidentally give away their Social Security number while trying to update their account by phone call.

According to the Federal Trade Commision, in 2011 about 11 percent of U.S. adults paid for fraudulent products. That’s 25.6 million people. Fraud can affect a person in many ways depending on how serious the situation is. It can lead to bankruptcy, loss of employment or damage to a profitable business. Using false information, fraudsters can get their card approved and get products for free while the store makes no profit. That can cause the company to lose a lot of money.

Fraud is a big problem in the United Sates and too many people are becoming victims to it. People should make sure that the source they are getting messaged from is the right one before giving out any information. The best way would be to just physically go to your bank or the company’s building, such as an AT&T store, to avoid any potential fraud that may come your way. Also make sure you switch up your email password every once in a while to help prevent hackers from getting in. Prevention is the best way to avoid this problem.


Graphic by Alina Husain

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Alina Husain