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The one day in the year you may experience credit card fraud

Fraud Alert:

While you’re contemplating your carefully hung stockings, fraudsters will be out in force.

Christmas Eve is the No. 1 day for fraud attempts, accounting for 2.5 percent of all cases annually, according to payments firm ACI Worldwide. Criminals may pick this day in particular to buy electronic gift cards — a popular last-minute gift — and resell them online.

“Fraud is really driven by what is hot in the marketplace and what can easily be resold on the black market,” says Erika Dietrich, ACI’s global director of payments risk management.

When they’re not attempting to purchase gift cards with a stolen credit card, crooks gravitate toward products like Beats headphones, Air Jordan gym shoes and even Dyson vacuums. They know these are popular items that they can easily sell on the secondary market for cheap, Dietrich says.

And this type of fraud is increasingly being conducted over the internet, thanks to the introduction of chip-based credit cards, which are difficult to counterfeit but offer no protections against online fraud. ACI says online fraud attempts for the year are expected to increase 43 percent versus 2015….

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