Rapid City metro area sees increase in credit card fraud

Credit card fraud has been a significant issue across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:12 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Credit card fraud has been a significant issue across the country since the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a study by Upgraded Points, the pandemic had people paying off their credit cards more often, along with fewer people applying for credit. Although, this seems like it would have caused fewer issues, over the past two years inflation has played a big role in the dramatic rebound applications for credit cards have had.

In the Rapid City metro area, these credit card fraud cases have risen by 113% in 2022. The Upgraded Points study states that 3.5 per 10,000 people reported credit card fraud just last year when compared to 2021. A metro area financial consultant shared some ways to spot credit card fraud before it happens.

“If all of a sudden you get mail from a creditor that you didn’t apply for credit with, then you have an issue... if all of a sudden your credit score starts to go down and you haven’t made changes, then that’s signaling something is wrong,” said Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills executive director Bonnie Spain.

Ways that Spain explained could help you avoid credit card fraud would be to avoid setting up automatic payments that don’t let you know they are charging you beforehand. Regularly checking your finances for any transaction that looks suspicious would also help make sure you are safe from fraudsters.

“Don’t put everything on automatic pay and forget it, you just can’t do that. You have to open your mail, you have to check your mail, you have to check your credit report, you have to check your credit score, and then if you find you have an issue you have to act,” said Spain.

The Upgraded Points study pinpoints two forms in that credit card fraud often occurs:

“Fraud is a bigger issue than most people realize and you have to stay on top of it. Unfortunately, there are predators out there trying to gain your identity, your access to credit, and if not checked, it can take hundreds of hours to correct it,” said Spain. “So, you’re better at being safe than using easy passwords and not caring where you use your credit card.”

In 2022, nationwide credit card fraud was up by 13.7%. If you find yourself a victim of credit card fraud, contact your card provider immediately and if you start to see your credit rating fall notify the credit bureaus if necessary.

Below are the phone numbers of all three credit bureaus: