Like almost everything else in the world, criminality evolves to overcome discovery and prosecution. This is especially true for digital crimes and crimes associated with credit cards. The number of credit card scams being executed on a given day extremely high. Right when you think you have them figured out, they come up with new ways to scam cardholders. The best thing you can do is learn about the most common scams so that you can ensure that you don’t get taken easily. It is important to be on the lookout for credit card scams so that you don’t put your credit card information into the wrong hands.
Following are five credit card scams that you should be on the lookout for.
1. Confirming Your Information to Receive EMV Card
Banks are moving to EMV chip-enabled cards for the purpose of reducing the risk of credit card fraud. The changes are being made in phases over the course of several months. The way the scammers work is that they identify when a bank is phasing in EMV credit cards and then they send emails to consumers informing them that they need to verify their information before their new card can be sent out. Not only should you not reply to this email with your information, you should not click on any links. You don’t want to give these scammers any information whatsoever.
Your credit card issuer would never send you an email asking you for your personal information and these new chip cards are sent out automatically without requiring any action from the cardholder.
2. Interest Rate Reduction
Who does not want to have their interest rates reduced? That is what scammers appeal to — the inherent desires of consumers and cardholders. These type of scams are focused on cardholders who have become frustrated with their high-interest rates, which make it difficult to pay off their debt. The scam begins when you receive a prerecorded phone call informing you that you qualify to have your interest rate lowered. However, in order to take advantage of the offer, you must pay a set fee and enroll in the program. In this instance, the call will likely sound as if it is coming from your credit card issuer, and they may even have your credit card information.
Start by adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry, which should reduce the risk of receiving these types of calls. If you do receive a call like this, hang up without speaking to the person.
3. Fraudulent Activity on Your Account
Very few things get a cardholder in motion and active the way hearing there has been fraudulent activity on their account. It is common for credit card issuers to warn you about suspicious activity on your account, and scammers use this as a ruse to get your information. With this type of scam, you will receive a call from the credit card issuers fraud department, but it is not coming from your card company. The person on the other end of the line will advise you that there has been suspicious activity on your account and that they need you to verify some information to ensure that your account is safe. They are counting on you becoming frenetic and unglued — being reactive and responsive. They may even have some of your information, which they will use to make you comfortable with them. Because your credit card company will make calls like this, the best way to protect yourself is to hang up the phone and call the toll-free number on the back of the card and initiative contact that way.
4. Hotel Front Desk Scams
You would probably never expect to have to worry about getting scammed at a hotel, but scammers are very creative and this type of scam is very effective. The way the scam works is you will generally receive a call from someone who claims to be at the front desk. The person will tell you that there are some problems with the hotel computer system and they need your credit card information once more. They are counting on you be groggy, having been awaken from a deep sleep. Once they have that information, they will be able to make fraudulent charges to your credit card account. Never give out your credit card information over the phone. If you receive a call like this, take the time to walk down to the front desk to confirm the situation.
5. The Free Wi-Fi Scam
It is not uncommon for people to connect to open wi-fi connection in order to avoid using their own data when they are away from home. Connecting on these open networks can be a dangerous proposition. Scammers will set up an open hotspot that does not require a password to join. Once you join that network the scammer can access any information you transmit while on that network. For instance, logging into your bank account online will give them access to all of your banking information.
When joining public networks, make sure that the network is native to the location you are in. Just ask an employee for the name of their wi-fi network. Even if you are comfortable with the connection, you should be careful of what information you transmit on open networks.