U.S. card skimming grew by nearly 500% in 2022 and is showing signs it will grow even faster this year, according to a recent analysis by credit scoring services firm FICO. The firm’s data identified more than 161,000 compromised cards last year, or roughly five times the number reported in 2021. Nearly 3,000 unique financial institutions were affected by a compromise, representing a 79% year-over-year increase in affected institutions. The data from January 2023 was trending at a nearly 1,000% increase over 2022, according to FICO.
Most skimming fraud was concentrated in California, which accounted for 47% of all cases tracked by FICO over the year. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia were other skimming hotspots. Most skimming fraud took place in locations where no skimming had previously been reported, and most skimming events lasted less than two weeks at any single location. “With this short timeframe, finding and disabling skimming devices can be nearly impossible, and many (if not most) consumers will not know that their information has been compromised until fraudulent charges show up on their card,” according to the analysis.