If you have ever been caught up in a credit card scam, then you know just how convincing or sneaky that scammers can be. And you’re not the only one; numerous people fall victim to them every year. Here is a look at 4 of the most convincing scams that you will want to be on the lookout for:
1. The Jury Duty Credit Card Scam
This scam uses scare tactics to get credit card and other personal information out of victims. We’re always trying to figure out new “how to get out of jury duty” excuses, but sometimes we simply have missed the court notice. This is where the jury duty scam comes into play.
In this scam, the con artist calls the victim claiming to be a representative from the local court in their area. They tell the victim that because they failed to show up for a scheduled jury duty an arrest warrant has been issued in their name. The victim replies by saying that they never received a jury duty notice.
The scammer then says that, in order to clear up the matter, they need to verify some information. The scammer will go on to ask for personal information including the victim’s address, social security number, birth date, and credit card numbers. The unknowing victim, who is frazzled and worried about the arrest warrant, complies and gives the caller the information, becoming subject to identity theft and credit card fraud.
2. Scam Phone Call Claiming To Reduce Your Credit Card Debt
In this marketing scam, the victim receives a phone call from someone who claims that he is a representative of their credit card company and can get them significantly reduced interest rates and debt payments. The scammer tells the victim that the proposed credit card debt reduction will cut thousands off of what they owe and allow them to pay off their debt up to 5 times faster. The catch? The victim needs to pay a hefty upfront fee. By targeting those who are struggling or have bad credit, these con artists can prey upon the most vulnerable.
Recently, these types of marketing cons came under the scrutiny of the FTC, and it is now illegal to demand upfront fees for debt settlement services. In addition, debt reduction companies are now required to maintain a dedicated account, entirely owned by the client, for use in paying creditors. However, not everyone knows this and therefore is still a potential victim to this sneaky scheme.
3. “Skimming” Your Card
This “old school” trick has been making recent headlines. Skimming machines, known as “skimmers” have become high-tech these days. Recently, skimmers have been found in gas pumps and ATMs across the country. With these skimmers, credit card data is collected and transferred via Bluetooth to the scammers who can then replicate the cards and go on a shopping spree. Other traditional, less technological skimming tricks include restaurant waitstaff and retail employees skimming your credit card and then using it to make small purchases that are very often missed by the victim.
The bottom line is that you should always look your bill over carefully each month and report discrepancies immediately to your credit card company. If reported in time, you will never be liable for fraudulent purchases. And make sure to scope out any ATM you visit to make sure nothing looks amiss! Here are some other great tips to avoid an ATM skimmer fraud scheme.
4. Credit Card Fraud Department Scam
This credit card scam has been around for a while, yet unknowing victims remain viable targets. The way it works is that the scammer calls you claiming to be from the fraud department of your credit card company. They sound very official, knowing your address, giving you a claim number, saying they will remove the fraudulent charges, and even telling you to call back with any questions. In the process of the call, they say that they need to verify that you have the card they are calling about and subsequently ask for the three digit security code on your card. With that information they can now charge your credit card for whatever purchases they feel like.
How do you avoid these types of scams? Just know that, in general, credit card companies won’t call you out of the blue and ask for your personal information. Instead they tend to send emails, snail mail, or text messages asking you to call in as soon as you can. Even so, never click on any links in the emails or call any phone numbers that are provided. Instead, you have a customer service number on the back of your card to call that you know is legitimate. Most importantly, just be very cautious and skeptical of anyone that ever asks for your personal information or credit card information. And be careful when using ATM machines to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary.
If you think you are a credit card fraud victim, call your credit card company immediately to have your account suspended and have a new card issued. Additionally, you should call the credit bureaus and get a hold put on your credit reports.
Have you ever been part of a credit card fraud scheme?