Fraud Protection Agency: Phone Scam Overview
Impostor phone scams are one of the main variations of phone fraud that take place every year in the United States. Commonly scammers will impersonate IRS agents, county clerks, and police or FBI agents. The main aim of these types of phone scams is to get sensitive personal information from you.
Another variation of the impostor scam involves the caller pretending to be from your credit card company’s Fraud Protection program. The caller will state that they’ve noticed some unusual charges on your credit card. Learn more about this scam and how to avoid it.
What Is the Fraud Protection Scam?
If you’ve ever gotten your credit card stolen or started making a lot of purchases with it after not using it for awhile you may have gotten a call from your credit card company asking you questions. This is normal and helps protect you from theft. However, what happens when an impostor calls you pretending to be from your credit card company. How can you tell the difference? This is what makes this variation of the impostor scam so easy to fall victim too.
Typically you’ll receive a call from someone claiming to be from your credit card company. The caller will often use caller ID spoofing to make it appear that they’re calling from an 800 number. Once the caller has you on the line they’ll read off a few charges that they are questioning. You’ll probably start panicking at this point that your credit card may have actually been compromised.
In order to confirm that it wasn’t you who made these purchases the Fraud Protection agent will then begin to ask you personal questions and common security questions. They may ask you to confirm your birthdate, last four digits of your social security, and mother’s maiden name among other things.
The call will all seem very routine and there won’t be any real red flags that this is a scam until it’s too late and your information has already been compromised.
How Can You Avoid This Scam?
The best way to avoid this scam is to avoid calls from numbers that are unknown to you. If you ever receive a call that there has been some suspicious activity on your credit card, call the number that appears on the back of the credit card in question. Do not call the number that’s given in a voicemail or text message.
If you do answer the call ask specific questions and don’t volunteer information. There are hundreds of types of credit cards make sure the caller can correctly identify the type of card you have. If the caller simply states that your MasterCard or Visa has fraudulent charges this is too generic and is an immediate red flag.
Hang up if the caller asks you to start sharing information with them.
How to Report It
If you’ve gotten a call from someone you suspect is a fraud, call your credit card company and alert them to the scam that’s targeting their customers. You can and should also report this scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Additionally, you can help warn people in your community about impostor scams by leaving your feedback in our app for unknown number lookups. You’ll also be able to see the feedback from other users on numbers that have been used in scams.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still look up unknown numbers and leave your feedback to alert others to potential scams in our online phone listings directory.