A Scary Credit Card Scam

You know about the safeguards that credit card issuers try to implement to keep unauthorized people from using your cards. Well, now some smart identity thieves have figured a couple of ways around them.

The first deals with actually stealing your cards from your mailbox before you ever see them. Card issuers thought they could eliminate the danger for you by requiring you to call from your home phone to activate your cards.

That worked until a new website came along that enables you to place a call from any phone and make it appear to be coming from a different number. All a thief has to do once your card is in his possession is check the local phone directory for your number.

So if you’re expecting a new card in the mail and it doesn’t arrive, do call your credit card issuer to see if it has been activated.

A second scam is done over the telephone. The thief already has your credit card numbers, your address, and your phone number. All he’s missing is that 3-digit code from the back of the card.

The person who calls will give their name and state that they are from the Security and Fraud department at your card issuer’s company, calling because they’ve noticed unusual spending and wanting to verify that you did indeed make some recent purchases.

You may have gotten such a call in the past when you’ve used your card in an unusual manner or in a different location from usual. Some card issuers do call to check that the card is being used by an authorized person.

This call, however, is a classic “phishing” scheme. The caller will identify the bank that issued your card and ask if you made a certain purchase or purchases. Of course you’ll say no, because there was no such purchase. They’ll then tell you they’re starting a fraud investigation and that they’ll credit your account and send verification to your address. They’ll state your address and all you’ll do is verify.

Then comes the theft. The caller will say that he or she needs to verify that the card is in your possession, and will ask you to read the security numbers from the back. When you do, the caller will say “Yes, that’s correct.” It all sounds very legitimate.

This is just one version. In other versions of the scam, the caller will ask for the expiration date on the card, your billing address, or even your social security number.

The thing to remember is NOT to give out any personal information to anyone who calls you. If you’re worried that some unusual activity did take place, hang up and place a call to the credit card company yourself. Don’t use a number that the caller gave you – go on line to get it or call information for the number.

Author:Marte Cliff
CreditScoreQuick.com your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and ground breaking credit news.

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