Credit card fraud rates rise in C-U

By Jessie Wang, Assistant News Editor

Champaign-Urbana saw credit fraud increase 63% in the last year and 170% in the last three years, says the Federal Trade Commission

According to, this phenomenon is part of a larger nationwide trend, as “65% of credit and credit card holders have been fraud victims at some point in their lives, up from 58% last year.”

On Jan. 26, C-U officers reported that three people spent over $7,000 total on stolen credit and debit cards. During the spending spree, they purchased electronics, clothing and gift cards.

On campus, the University’s Division of Public Safety reported eight cases of credit card fraud since the new year. 

Brian Yau, an ACES alumni, said that self-awareness is the most important practice to avoid being a victim of credit card fraud. 

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“(The) only way (for) you as an individual to get ahead of it is being proactive,” Yau said. “Always check your bank account every few days on activity and do your due diligence if there’s a transaction you do not recognize.”

He also said that advancements in technology have decreased the likelihood of catching fraudsters.

“I do believe fraudsters will eventually be caught as technology is evolving; it’s harder and harder for both sides,” Yau said. 

The Champaign Police Department also offers the following advice to protect credit card information:

  • Keep a record of account numbers, expiration dates, phone numbers and addresses of each company in a safe place
  • Never lend credit cards to anyone
  • Do not leave credit cards lying around
  • Watch credit cards during transactions and cancel unused credit card accounts

They also provide information for victims of credit card fraud:

  1. Call each credit company. Ask to speak with a security or fraud representative.
  2. Follow up with a letter.
  3. Complete a “Fraud Affidavit” form.
  4. Close out all compromised accounts right away. Have each processed as an “account closed at consumer’s request” to keep your previous good credit rating.
  5. Use new PINs and passwords for new accounts.
  6. Monitor mail and bills for evidence.


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