Frozen Credit Card: Phone Scam Overview
Now more than ever do we rely on credit cards. Recent studies have found that 70% of consumers in the United States have at least one credit card. Having a secured credit card is an important part to establishing credit in the U.S., something which will help you take out loans in the future for bigger purchases like a car, home, or business.
Phone scammers, knowing the importance of credit cards and the popularity of them among consumers, have begun to take advantage of this and have started to place automated calls or texts stating that credit cards have been frozen.
The Initial Contact
This type of phone scam starts with either a text or an automated phone call. The scammer claims that one of your credit cards has been frozen and that you need to take immediate action to fix this issue. The text will give you a toll-free number to call where you can handle this issue. The automated call will give you the option to press a number to speak with a representative, or a toll-free call back number.
By following the instructions included in the call or text you will be connected to a "representative" who will request that you provide personal information which could include billing address, mother's maiden name, credit card number, and Social Security number. This sensitive personal information can be used to steal your identity and sold on to third parties.
Dealing With This Threat
Anytime you receive an automated call claiming to need your immediate attention, it's important to do some quick research. If the call or text claims that your credit card has been frozen, call back the number that appears on the back of the card instead of the number that is given in the automated call or text. By calling the number on the back of the card you can be sure that you are calling your credit card company directly, and not a potential phone scammer.
Do not give any sensitive personal information to unsolicited callers, if you are unsure of a call it's best to hang up and call the company the caller claimed to be from directly. You can also run a reverse phone lookup on the number that called or texted you to check for suspicious behavior. CallerSmart's community phone book has feedback on many different numbers that have been used in credit card phone scams:
786-219-9851: WARNING--BEWARE!! These callers are B I G credit card criminals, known as the card service scammers! Under NO circumstances, give these lowlifes your credit card number, or you will regret it forever!
Reporting the Scammers
If you've received calls or texts claiming that your credit card has been frozen you should contact your credit card provider directly via the number on the back of your card, or your credit card company's website. Once you've determined that this is a phone scam and that your credit card isn't frozen, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and block the number on your phone.
You can report and avoid calls like these with CallerSmart's spam blocking extension available with our free caller ID app, this extension automatically blocks phone numbers which users have reported as spam or scam on your iPhone. If you don't have an iPhone, you can still run searches on suspicious phone numbers, and leave your feedback on numbers in our online phone directory.