What Is the Difference Between Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft?

credit card fraud

It’s easy to confuse credit card fraud with identity theft, but they’re not the same thing. Let’s take a quick look at how they’re different.

Credit Card Fraud vs. Identity Theft

Credit card fraud is a potential consequence of identity theft. Here, a thief steals your credit card information and then makes purchases in a store or online. Most credit card companies have a liability limit of $50. This means that even if a thief has charged thousands of dollars to your card, you’d likely only have to pay $50. More often than not, credit card companies simply wipe out any charges that are the result of fraud. Continue reading

Equifax Data Breach Exposes 143 Million

UPDATE 9/21/2017 

CNN Tech reports that a fake Equifax website went viral via Twitter yesterday. 

The worst part? Equifax fell for it. 

Equifax created a website for consumers affected by the company’s recent breach event called “equifaxsecurity2017.com” to offer a way for consumers to determine their impact, as well as general information about the breach. Additionally, the company has been using Twitter and other social media outlets to respond to breach-related questions and concerns. Continue reading

Synthetic IDs: Great For Fraudsters, Bad For Victims

Identity theft… without your full identity 

It’s called synthetic identity theft. Whether by a phishing scam, data breach, hack or physical theft, your information becomes compromised and falls into the wrong hands. Criminals use this stolen information to mix and match names, birthdays, Social Security numbers and addresses with other fabricated information to create synthetic IDs. Once the synthetic identity is made, criminals can make fraudulent charges to your bank account, open new lines of credit, order prescriptions and even commit crimes under your name. 

In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called synthetic identity theft “the fastest growing type of identity fraud in the United States.” Unlike “true name” identity theft, fraudsters only need to use certain pieces of your information — paired with the criminal’s own or fabricated information — to create a new, “synthetic” identity.

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