Guest Post Author Bio: The following post comes from the NerdWallet.com team, experts in helping users find the right rewards credit cards.
4 of the Craziest Credit Card Scams
We live in an age where identity theft is a major concern. There is always a threat of your financial information getting into the wrong hands; whether you’re at the ATM, buying something online or swiping your card at a small shop. Then to top it all off, there are credit card scammers out there that are looking to get your personal information. To prevent from falling victim to one, here is some info about the most common credit card scams.
Credit Card Scammers Using Jury Duty Scheme
One crazy credit card scam that is going on today is the jury duty scam. What happens is a scam artist will contact a victim and scare personal info out of them. The scammer will tell the individual that they are a rep of the court in their city. They then tell the victim that since they failed to show up for jury duty, a warrant has been issued for them. Of course, the victim knows nothing about this. The scammer then tells the victim that this can all be cleared up by verifying a few details. Some of the info that will be asked for include their address, credit card, birth date and social security number. In most cases, the victim is worried and unsure of what to do and easily falls prey to the scammer.
Scammers Staging as Credit Card Debt Specialists
A lot of people are in debt these days and are looking for ways out. This is one of the main reasons why this particular credit card scam works so well. In this scenario, the victim will get a phone call from a scammer that is claiming to be associated with a company they hold a credit card with. They then invite the victim to use their service to reduce their interest rates and credit card debt payments. The scammer promises to save the victim thousands of dollars and will help the victim to pay off their debt much quicker. The catch is that the victim has to pay a large upfront fee. These scam artists prey on those that have bad credit because they are in a vulnerable state.
Since this scam has started, they were scrutinized by the FTC, so now it is illegal for debt settlement companies to ask for upfront fees. It is also required that these companies maintain a dedicated account that is owned by the client for paying their creditors.
Beware of Credit Card Skimmers
This is actually a scam that has been going on since the existence of credit cards, but is still rampant today; just look at recent headlines. Credit card skimming takes place when a victim swipes their credit card at an ATM that has skimmers that help con artists to replicate your card and use them. The skimmers collects data needed, which was then transmitted through Bluetooth to the scammer. Then there are the waiters and waitresses at restaurants and shops who will skim your credit card for small purchases. The victim usually doesn’t notice the additional charges.
If you happen to notice additional charges on your credit card, it is important to report it to your credit card company. Carefully look over your monthly billing statements. If caught early on, you won’t be held liable for the fraudulent purchases. You should also look at the ATMs you use to make sure nothing seems odd.
Phone Calls from Scammers Looking to “Verify” Your Personal Information
Another old, but still used scam, is the call to verify scheme. Some know about it, but many people still fall victim to it. In this scam, someone calls the victim pretending to be from your credit card company’s fraud department. What makes them hard to identify is the fact that they sound official, especially since they have your personal details like address and will even provide you with a claim number. The scammer claims that they will remove the fraudulent purchases and for the victim to call back if they have any questions. During this phone conversation, the scammer will ask you to verify your card and will ask for the three digit security code located on the back of the card. With all of the info they now have, the scammer can charge your credit card.
There is a way to avoid scams like these. The first thing you should know is that official companies will not call you out the blue and ask for personal information. They will usually email or text message you, asking you to call the company as soon as possible. It’s best to call the company to ensure that who you are talking to is legit. You can even hang up on people that claim to be from a specific card company and call that company to see if there really is an issue with your account that requires verification of your information.
If you have been victimized, you should call your credit card company right away to have your card and account suspended. They can then send you a new card.
Have you been scammed before? What happened?