If you have never been a victim of a credit card scam, you may not know how convincing and sneaky these scammers can be. From fake calls to phishing emails, these fraudsters are stealing money from Americans everyday. Before you give out your credit card information, be on the lookout for any of these 4 tactics.
Fraud Department Calls
These calls involve the fraudsters claiming to be a representative from your bank’s fraud department. They will say that they are calling to confirm your recent charges, but before reviewing any charges they will ask for your full credit card number and CVV (3-digit code) to confirm that you have the card in your possession. Remember, your bank has your verified phone number on file and they already have the credit card number. Your real bank may ask that you confirm the last 4 digits of your card and one of your last purchases, but never the full card number. Do not ever give out your CVV code on an incoming call. Once the fraudster gets this information, they can start to make large purchases, leaving you in a fight to get your money back.
Credit Card Debt Reduction Calls
If you get a debt reduction call, hang up. Unfortunately, these calls are successful because they target Americans with bad credit. The caller promises to work with you to lower your debt by allowing you to pay off your credit cards in one monthly payment. While there are legitimate companies that offer this service, they should never ask you for a large upfront charge to enroll in their service. Before working with a business that claims to reduce your debt, research the company, ask for their company name, phone number, and address. Once you have established that this is not a scam, then you may choose to work with them.
Missed Jury Duty Calls
Fraudsters use this fear tactic in order to get credit card information from consumers. This call will likely start off with them telling you that you failed to report for jury duty and now have a warrant for your arrest. This is simply not true. In most states, there is minimal consequence for failing to appear for jury duty. Additionally, you will likely never get a phone call if you miss jury duty, especially one you never received jury summons for. Once the scammers tell the individual that they have a warrant, it causes fear causing the person to give their credit card information in order to clear their name. Can you guess what happens when they get your credit card information? They start to clear out your bank account quickly from purchases in a city, state, or country that you likely do not live in.
You can bet that any email asking for your full credit card number is fraud. The email may say that you are a beneficiary of some unpaid account, you’ve won a prize that you did not enter to win, or you are the sole inheritor of someone’s estate. The best way to protect yourself is to research common email scams, install malware, and avoid downloading attachments from email addresses you do not know. If you get an odd email from a friend with a download that you were not expecting, reach out to them to confirm its authenticity before you download.
If you think you have been a victim of one of these scams, review your account and give your credit card company today.