BBB Tip: Credit Card Scams

If you get a call, email, or text offering you better rates on your credit card, be wary. It may be a scam to get your personal and banking information.

credit cardsIn this common con, scammers impersonate a bank or other credit card issuer. By verifying account information or offering a better interest rate, con artists try to fool you into sharing your credit card or banking information. Once they have this, scammers can make unauthorized transactions or commit identity theft.

How the Scam Works:

Scammers reach out by phone, email, or text claiming to be from your bank or credit card company. Many begin as a “robocall” recording offering you a better interest rate, updating your information, sending you a new card, or verifying a purchase. The promise of a ridiculously low rate may come with an upfront charge, or the scammer may ask to confirm personal information such as the credit card number, security code, and address (which can be used for fraudulent charges and identity theft).

In a different variation, a scam email or text message instructs the target to click a link to update banking information. This can download malware to your device, which scammers can use to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

Tips to Spot This Scam: 

  • Consider how the company normally contacts you. If it’s by phone, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or texts. Banks and credit card issuers have secure communications channels that require you to log into your account before you can read the message. Be especially cautious of generic emails that include little or no specific information. 
  • Check directly with the bank or credit card issuer before sharing information. Use the customer service phone number on the back of your card, on your statement, or on the company's website. Don’t click on any links in the message.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.

To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams”.

Last Reviewed: March 7, 2017