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New Map Identifies US Card Fraud Hotspots

I’m excited to share that we’ve just released an interactive map showing debit and credit card fraud trends in the US. The map identifies the points of compromise—that is, where the actual theft of card and PIN data occurred—based on data from FICO® Card Alert Service, which analyzes more than 65% of all US ATM transactions every day.


    Click on the graphic to view the full map, or go to

Looking at the map, two things stand out.

First, the map reinforces how widespread these financial crimes are. If you click on individual states, you’ll find that 20 of them experienced an increase in credit card fraud last year. In particular, our map identified clusters of ATM fraud activity in California, Florida and the Northeast.

Of course, the locations of these increases and hotspots change every year—bringing me to my second point: fraud patterns are constantly shifting. This holds true not only for hotspot locations, but for the type of compromise as well. As I discussed in my last post, looking at overall volume of activity in 2012, we saw an increase in bank ATM fraud compared to the prior year. In fact, nearly half (46%) of all card skimming occurred at bank ATMs, versus 36% at retail point-of-sale (POS) terminals and 18% at white-label (non-bank) ATMs. This represents a shift from 2011, when 79% of skimming incidents occurred at POS terminals.

Note that the graphic above represents only a snippet of our fraud map. I encourage you to check out the full map by clicking on the graphic (or going directly to and exploring its many layers. Besides the interactive map itself, we’ve included analysis of skimming trends over the last three years and several other useful resources. If you click on the Trends tab, for instance, I've provided insight into what’s behind the shifting fraud patterns during this timeframe. The Resources tab includes research papers I've written about physical ATM security, managing card compromises and a host of other best practices.

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