Fraud Investigator Impersonation: Phone Scam Overview

Phone Fraud Affects Individuals and BusinessesPaying for an in-store purchase or a meal with a credit card is probably something you do without much thought. In a survey conducted by Consumer Credit, they found that 80% of consumer spending in the U.S. was cashless.

Many people don't like to carry large amounts of cash on them, which is why using a credit card has become so popular. Nothing beats the convenience of being able to swipe a card plus the added security of knowing that if anything happens the card can be cancelled with a phone call.

Still, while using a credit or debit card is a very convenient, there are some dangers. There are many different scams out there that specifically target regular credit card users and the stores who accept these payments. Credit cardholders face the posibility of their card information being stolen by card scanners, databases breaches, or via voice phishing. Voice phishing refers to the act of calling a person in order to solicit sensitive information from them. Phone scammers use many different voice phishing techniques to fool their victims into disclosing information.

Sometimes phone scammers will impersonate credit card fraud investigators in order to get their hands on your information. Here is some information on how this phone scam works and what you can do to avoid falling victim to it.

The Breakdown of the Fraud Investigator Scam

Phone scammers will start this con by contacting a store that accepts various forms of credit payments. The caller will inform the manager of the establishment there has been a breach of security regarding their credit card payment system.

In order to protect the store and their customers, the caller will tell the owner they need to confirm information regarding the credit cards that have made large purchases within the last few days. If the store owner gives the caller information such as credit card number and purchase amount, they will be putting information at risk.

Once the scammer has this information, they will begin targeting you, the credit card user. When calling you, the scammer will act as if they are the shop where the purchase was made. They will you that due to some sort of glitch, your payment did not go through and that they need to rerun the card. If you end up giving your information, the thief can use your credit card to make large purchases under your name. This can affect your credit rating, which can often take large amounts of time to repair.

The phone scammer in these situations is aided by caller ID spoofing, which they use to mask their real identity and make it seem as if they are really calling from the credit card company or store where the purchase was made.

Avoiding This Scam

If you don't give the scammers the information they want, they will not be able to have success with this con. Anytime a person calls asking for this type of personal information, you need to realize it is a red flag. The best way to verify the legitimacy of this type of call is by hanging up on the caller and contacting the store in question directly.

They will be able to tell you whether or not there has been a problem with their credit card machines and what needs to be done to fix it. Simply handing over your personal information to an unknown caller can lead to a variety of negative consequences, such as identity theft.

Get the Word Out

The best way to protect yourself and others from being affected by this scam is by reporting it to the proper agencies. Since this scam falls under the category of financial fraud, you will need to report this activity to the Federal Trade Commission. You can also use the power of CallerSmart's community phone book to alert people by leaving your feedback on the number that tried to scam you. By simply leaving a comment you can help prevent a person from potentially being scammed.

You can use CallerSmart's cell phone number lookup app to identify unknown calls and report payday phone scams. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, you can still run reverse phone lookups on suspicious numbers and leave your feedback on our website.