Credit card scams are becoming increasingly rampant these days. Credit card scammers are getting smarter, finding new ways to defraud credit cardholders—many even recycle old credit card scams by adding new elements of fraud. As a result, this has put many cardholders on the lookout for scams by protecting their credit card details gingerly. But humans err; many still fall victim to credit card scams. But how can you guard against your credit card information being stolen. First you need to understand the various types of credit card scams, and how to identify them. The types of credit card scams and ways to avoid them are:
- New EMV Card Delivery: EMV chip credit cards are taking over the credit card industry due to its effectiveness in reducing credit card scam. Scammers, posing as credit card issuers, send emails to customers requesting personal information from them in exchange for a new (non-existent) EMV card. The moment personal info is sent, the scammers are given all the details needed to complete identity theft.
What to do: Never open emails from people claiming to be your credit card issuer, always pay a visit to the agency’s website first. Credit card agencies often issue cards without emailing or calling first.
- Interest Rate Scam: Scammers send a recorded call to frustrated credit cardholders telling them they qualify for a low-fee interest rate reduction program, which guarantees a future erasure of credit card debt. The price for this, (you guessed it), your credit card info. Once this is received, a large fee is charged to your card without reconciliation.
What to do: Hang up the phone immediately, now, this moment! If the call persists, add the number to your phone’s blacklist, and contact your credit card agency. To qualify for a lower interest rate, simply call your credit card agency and request for it.
- Possible Fraud Scam: Credit card scammers may call you, acting as your credit card agency, informing you of a potential fraud on your account. Sometimes, they may be so convincing by telling you some of your information. Chances are they want the vital details that will give them access to your card. This, they will ask for.
What to do: Your credit card agency may indeed place such a call. To confirm, you should hang up the phone, and call the hotline printed on your credit card.
- CC Skimming: In this case, scammers place skimming devices on credit card scanners. This device allows them to create fake duplicates of your card, therefore causing multiple dubious charges on your account. This is common at stores with self-checkout lanes.
What to do: Always inspect credit card scanners for skimming devices. Also, when entering in your pin, make sure you make this unseen. Some stores have cameras that directly capture your pin. If possible, never hand your credit card to the shopkeeper. Monitor your account for any fraudulent transactions, and report accordingly.
Credit card scams can occur in many forms, both physical and online. Treat your credit card like a gem, and protect your personal information like long lost Greek scrolls. The moment you suspect anything fraudulent on your account, contact your credit card agency immediately. Keep your cards safe.