Fraud alerts are increasing due to false alarms.

If you’re hearing from your bank a lot more, it’s because they’re trying harder to watch your back.

Fraud alerts are on the rise — both because of actual fraud and because of false alarms, according to a CreditCards.com poll. They can be triggered by anything the bank considers unusual activity, even if it’s your doing.

It’s good news that more Americans are being contacted by their banks when there’s suspicious activity happening. One-third of us are getting alerts this year, up 15 percent from two years ago.

The bad news is that a lot of those alerts are for legitimate activity, which can get on our nerves and make us less attentive to possible real fraud. Of those who have been contacted by their banks, 37 percent say some of the charges that were reported were really made by them.

fraud alerts

Fraud is up, but is security?

As banks are doing their best to combat the ever-growing theft of bank accounts, identity theft, and other types of fraud, scammers are working just as hard to learn new ways to steal and beat banks to the punch.

The CreditCards.com poll says 25 percent of Americans are being contacted about a fraudulent debit card transaction. This isn’t surprising considering stolen debit information is up 70 percent from this time last year.

It’s easy for scammers to steal bank data since ATMs are compromised constantly. From 2014 to 2015, ATM scams were up 546 percent. It’s no wonder banks are trying to let consumers know when there is a data breach — it’s constantly happening and doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

CreditCards.com says banks are putting serious bucks behind anti-fraud measures to identify scammers sooner, but they can’t always keep up. Fraudsters are making their scams harder to detect, and by the time banks counteract one fraud, another one (or two!) have popped up in its place.

How bad is it?

Let’s face it, we’ve got it bad, but not the worst. That accolade goes to Mexico. But the United States has consistently been in the top 3 worst countries for credit card fraud two years in a row.

Because we were so late to adapt to chipped cards, our banks were much more susceptible to data breaches. Even though most — if not all — credit and debit cards are equipped with chips now, fraudsters are still finding new ways to scam.

CreditCards.com suggests enabling alerts in any way possible, whether through texts or emails, to make sure you’re aware of when suspicious activity occurs on your account. Even if your bank contacts you and it ends up being a false alarm, at least you have the peace of mind knowing they are working toward making sure your information is always secure. They may not be right every time, but they would rather err on the side of caution rather than let a potential red flag slip by.

Credit & Debt, News

banking, credit cards, identity theft, scams

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Article last modified on May 30, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC .