Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Only 6% of Bogus Credit Card Charges Challenged

Larry MacDonald wrote an interesting piece about scammers who made about $10 million by duping banks and credit-card customers with bogus charges of $9 and $0.20 (the web page with this article has disappeared since the time of writing). The most surprising part of this is that only 6% of all charges were contested.

I didn’t realize how far out of the norm my credit card habits are. I keep all my receipts until the end of the month and match them to my statement. Anything on my statement I can’t account for triggers a call to the credit card company. I don’t care if the mistake is for $1000 or for a dime; I still call and get it fixed.

Apparently, for each person like me who tries to catch mistakes, there are 15 other people who don’t bother. I find this staggering. Apparently most of us can’t be pulled away from the television or video game long enough to check whether we’ve been cheated. It’s no wonder that fraud can be profitable for clever con artists.


  1. Amazing statistic, but my guess is that most people are unaware of the possibility of being scammed and just don't bother to verify credit card statements.

    Not smart.

  2. @Mark: Scamming is one possibility. Another is a simple error. I've had other people's charges posted to my account before. I've also had the same charge posted twice, which could have been fraud, but could also have been a simple mistake. Either way, though, you're right that it's not smart to just accept whatever amount you're charged.

  3. it is staggering when you think about it, but that is the problem with plastic money - you only worry about it when you see a problem, and if you don't look for a problem you just think everything is ok.