Credit card fraud falls under the category identity theft. Credit card fraud means a fraud or theft committed, using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism. The intention of such a fraud is to obtain unauthorized funds from an account or receive goods without paying. It is estimated that the cost of credit frauds runs in to billions of dollars annually. Credit card fraud begins with either compromise of the account information or theft of the physical card. The drastic increase of credit cards has made data base security lapses very costly. If a credit card is stolen, it can be reported quickly by the owner, but a compromised account can be concealed by a thief for weeks or months. In most cases the owner or the credit card holder may not be able to discover the fraudulent use till he receives the billing statement which is delivered only once per month.
When a credit card is stolen or lost, it remains unknown to the bank till the owner informs them that the card is lost. So it is possible for a stealer to make purchases till the card is cancelled. Signature panel is the only common security measures on all cards, but signatures are relatively easy to counterfeit. In some cases, credit cards bear the holder’s photograph. However, self serve payment system such as kiosks, gas station, which are used by the thieves, have no way to verify the card holders’ identity. Nowadays many websites which contain card information such as name of the card holder, account number, expiration date and verification code etc.