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4 Ways You Might Fall Victim to Ingenious Credit Card Scams

August 16, 2019

As a credit card owner, you can never be too careful. At any given moment there may be criminals who are out to get your card details – and many of these fraudsters are adept at playing ingenious tricks to obtain the information that they want. Outlined below are four common scams that unscrupulous individuals employ to get ahold of consumers’ credit card details.

Scam 1: In this case, you receive an automated call informing that your credit card has been frozen due to suspicious charges, and you need to reactivate it. You are asked to press “2” for a live attendant who will reinstate your card after “confirming” necessary personal information.  Or, you might receive a text message that, along with the announcement of your account being frozen, includes a link where you need to provide personal information to activate your account.

The giveaway: Whenever a bank freezes a card, the cardholder needs to initiate the call. So, if you receive a call like the one described above, disconnect and call the number listed on the back of your card. Never give out personal information on a call that you have not initiated. Moreover, avoid providing sensitive details on links sent through text messages. Instead, log into your account as you usually do and then proceed from there.

Scam 2: You receive a call from someone who claims to be from your utility company. She informs you that you are behind on your bills and ask for credit card details for immediate payment so that you don't have your service interrupted.

The giveaway: Although utility companies do send warnings or use automated calls as reminders that you are behind on your bill, the automated calls never ask for credit card details for immediate payment. If you receive such a call, simply hang up and dial the number provided on your last utility bill.

Scam 3: You receive an email, apparently from a popular retailer, that says you’ve won a gift card of some high dollar value. To claim the "gift" you are asked to click on an included link where you might be required to enter personal information, or even purchase items. For example, one scam required the targeted consumer to buy at least 13 items and refer 3 more people who would do the same.

The giveaway: You usually earn prizes only when you enter a contest, so if you haven’t entered one, the email is likely a scam. Moreover, you should know that to claim a prize, you rarely need to buy items or provide personal financial information, so if you are asked to do so, don't.

Scam 4: When individuals apply for a payday loan online, they are sometimes duped into signing up for products they don’t want or don’t need. For example, in a certain case, an applicant had to click through a series of screens with hardly visible pre-checked boxes. These boxes indicated the applicant had approved extra goods or services - along with accompanying add-on charges.

The giveaway: You need to be extremely alert to avoid being taken in by this kind of a scam. Be wary of lenders that try to sell you other products while offering a loan. Always research the lending company you approach well in advance. Given that you will need to provide personal information, such as your social security number, for obtaining such loans, you can never be too careful.

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Ari Page Ari Page is the CEO of Fund&Grow. He resides in Spring Hill, Florida with his wife and two children.

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