Scam Alert -- Check your credit card statement for these charges
January 29, 2014
With this new con, scammers are banking on the fact that many consumers don't check their credit card statements all that carefully. Don't fall for it. Review your recent statements for unexplained charges of $9.84 and contest them with your bank or credit card issuer (call the number on the back of your card).
You spot a recent strange charge of $9.84 on your credit card statement. The source listed on your bill is an unfamiliar website. You check out the web address, and it's not the business website. It's a generic landing page that claims to offer "Customer Support." The text promises to "refund 100% of your last payment" and provides a phone number and email address.
What's going on here? Scammers are charging stolen credit card numbers for a small amount of money. (Recent victims were all charged $9.84, but scammers may change that amount as word gets out.) The expectation is that many cardholders won't notice the relatively small charge, and the credit card companies won't go after such a minor sum.
Victims report calling the "customer support" site and receiving verbal confirmation that the charge would be canceled. However, don't take the scammers at their word. Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your card card information has been compromised, and it's likely scammers will be back for more.
Reduce Your Risk of Credit Card Fraud:
• Report lost cards and incorrect charges promptly. In the United States and Canada if your credit card is lost, stolen, or used without your permission, you may be responsible for up to $50. If you report the loss before the card is used, you're not responsible for any unauthorized charges. In addition, many cardholders are protected by zero liability policies set in place by credit card companies.
• Request a new card if you notice unauthorized charges. Fraudulent charges mean your card information has been compromised. Be on the safe side and request a new card.
• Never lend your card. And don't leave your cards, statements and receipts laying around your home, car or office.
• Never sign a blank charge slip. Draw lines through blank spaces on charge slips above the total so the amount can't be changed.
• Use caution when ordering online or over the phone. Always be cautious about disclosing your account number on the telephone or online unless you know the person you're dealing with represents a reputable company.
For More Information
Learn more about the credit card charges (and the investigation to track down their source) at Krebs on Security, a blog by former Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.