Identity thieves will do whatever it takes to swindle you out of your hard earned cash. But it doesn’t always stop there as credit cards are also a viable option.
In the past few years, we’ve watched as several big-box retailers, including Target and Home Depot, scrambled to make amends with customers who were affected by breaches to their payment processing systems.
Those stories were plastered all over the news, but we don’t see nearly as much coverage of the isolated incidents that cost consumers millions of dollars and sabotage their credit each day.
Let’s take a closer look at some common credit card scams:
1. Fraud Alerts
Many credit card issues have fraud departments intact to monitor activity. So when you receive a call alerting you of an issue with your card, chances are you’ll be more than willing to do whatever it takes, including confirming personal information, to get the problem resolved. But proceed with caution as you may be at the hands of a fraudster.
A better option: call your card issuer directly to confirm an issue even exists and resolve it from there.
This scam is the reason why I always try to use cash when dining out. It’s as simple as pie for perpetrators since all they have to do is swindle you out of your credit card and swipe it through a skimming machine to obtain all your account information. Once they’ve done so, new cards with your data can be created and used to fund a lavish dining experience, shopping spree, or whatever they choose to spend the money on.
3. Jury Duty
Have you been summoned to jury duty in the past? If so, you’ve received a court notice with instructions on the date, time and location to report. But what happens if you receive a call stating that you’ve missed an assignment and must confirm identifying information to avoid a trip to the slammer? If you’re wise, you’ll hang up the phone and give the court a call. Reasoning: fraudsters use this tactic to con you out of your social security number, address, date of birth, and other account information, creating the perfect opportunity to hijack your identity.
4. Chip Cards
Select credit card issuers recently welcomed the EMV credit cards to their arsenal. The deadline to switch was October 1, and fraudsters found a way to capitalize on the transition. How so? By contacting account holders via email and requesting that they confirm personal information in order for a new card to be issued.
5. Debt Consolidation
“For a low monthly fee, you can take care of all your credit card obligations and be debt-free in just a few short years. All you have to do is confirm your account information, make a one-time payment, and you’re all set.”
Wishful thinking. But unfortunately, scores of individuals succumb to this tactic out of sheer desperation and once they realize the alleged company is a scam, their deposit is already gone along with all their personal and account information.