Credit Card Charges: Phone Scam Overview
There are a number of different phone scams that revolve around credit cards, whether it's the frozen credit card scam, the account deactivated text scam, or the lower credit card rates scam, all aim to deceive consumers and steal personal information.
The fraudulent credit card charges phone scam is no different. This common impostor phone scam involves a caller claiming that strange charges are appearing on your card and requests you to provide personal information.
A Call From Your Credit Card Company
An automated call alerting you to suspicious charges on your credit card will be received. The first step to finding out more information about the fraudulent charge is to enter your credit card number by dialing it on your phone's number pad. This gives the scammer your credit card number. You will then be connected to a live "representative" who will tell you that they detected a problem and are calling to make sure your card hasn't been compromised. They will proceed to ask you about a false charge that they found on your account.
The second part of this scam involves the "representative" confirming your credit card number, which they received when you dialed it in, and gaining your trust. The caller then begins to confirm other personal information by asking you questions, this information often includes your billing address, birthdate, Social Security number, and your credit cards 3-digit security code. With this information the scammer is then able to make purchases on your credit card and steal your identity.
Noticing the Red Flags
The fraudulent credit card charges phone scam is an example of voice phishing and social engineering, which is the act of psychologically manipulating people to take certain actions and divulge certain pieces of information. Scammers make it their job to manipulate people so it can be almost impossible to detect these scams.
The best way to avoid this scam is to not answer or hang up on unsolicited calls. Whenever you receive an alert from your credit card company only call the phone number that appears on the back of the card, even if you are instructed otherwise. Your credit card company will never call you unsolicited and ask for personal information from you.
Seeking Out Information
The first step when you get a call from someone claiming to be a representative of your credit card company is to contact your credit card company directly via the number on the back of your card. If you feel that you've been targeted by a scammer report the phone number to the Federal Trade Commission.
If you've received a call like this you should request a credit report. You can get a free credit report once a year. It's important to keep track of your credit score and monitor it for any significant changes. Reversing identity theft can often be a long process, but the quicker it is detected the easier it can be to fix the damage.
You can warn others in your community about credit card phone scams by leaving your feedback on scamming phone numbers in CallerSmart's free reverse phone lookup app for iPhone or via our online phone directory.