Credit card scams are fraudulent techniques used by scammers to lure people by promising them unrealistic services to acquire sensitive information about the potential victim, and use it further for deceptive purposes.
Moreover, scammers pose as legitimate or authorised credit card firm representatives and bestow magnifying services, which in reality is a misleading technique to extract sensitive information, which includes personal financial details. Scammers posing as service providers always try to sell services that do not exist in real life.
Common types of credit card scams:
- Skimming – Skimming is fraudulent software that is used by scammers to steal credit card details from ATMs and point-of-sale terminals. Also, this is one of the most common techniques used by scammers to extract personal information.
- Smishing – Smishing technique typically involves a scammer sending an email or text message that contains malicious links. By clicking on them, the page extracts sensitive information for deceptive use.
- Fake or cloned cards – In this fraud, scammers use stolen credit card details to create fake or cloned cards and use them further to make fraudulent purchases.
- Identity theft – Credit card scammers use this technique often by stealing your identity and using it for other deceptive purposes.
- Card cracking – Scammers offering to pay people to use their credit card to withdraw money or make purchases, and after acquiring it, they run away with the belongings.
- Card-not-present fraud – This type of fraud takes place when someone uses stolen credit card information to make an online purchase, over the phone, or through email.
Warning signs to identify in credit card scams:
- Receiving an unsolicited email or message from an unknown source claiming to be associated with a credit card firm and acquiring personal information can be suspicious.
- Receiving an offer that pertains to a huge reward only if you associate with the firm can be dubious. A legitimate service provider never makes an offer that contains unrealistic rewards.
- Receiving a credit card statement that includes strange charges that are irrelevant to the purchases and services you made, can be a concerning matter that one should look for.
- Receiving a message or notification that says your email, ID, and password have been changed without your knowledge or concern could be a sign of fraud.
- Receiving a call or message demanding a wire transfer as “fees” to generate a credit card from an individual or firm, can be suspicious. Legitimate service providers will never ask for payment from such payment processors.
How do you avoid a credit card scam?
- Refrain from giving out personal information such as your social security number, ID, and password, and most importantly, credit card details, to an unsolicited source that claims to be your service provider.
- If you receive an offer from a website that contains ‘http’ in their URL or link, avoid it. Because legitimate service provider firms contain ‘https’ in their URLs and links.
- Be sceptical if a person claims to be a credit card service provider and provides you with an unsolicited link and asks you to associate with them and avail comprehensive offers on their credit card services. Legitimate service providers would never demand such formalities.
- Refrain from acknowledging offers that acquire a sense of urgency from the promoter. Scammers often use this technique to lure victims and don’t give them time to think about its legitimacy.
- Avoid using credit cards on every minor purchase. Sometimes these purchases turn out to be fraudulent, where scammers extract all the card information and impersonate identity thieves for deceptive purposes.
- Avoid using credit cards physically. Some credit card companies offer virtual credit card numbers that can be used for online purchases. These numbers are linked to your credit card account, although they expire after a single use or a set period of time, making them less vulnerable to fraud.
What should you do if you have been scammed by a credit card scam?
- File a complaint – Report the scam to the legal authorities, like local police or law enforcement. Provide them with all the evidence or minor details that have occurred during the scam.
- Connect with the credit card company you have associated with, explain the scenario, and ask them if they can trace the details that have been stolen or misplaced.
- Connect with the bank authority through which your account is linked to the credit card firm and ask them to reverse or freeze the transactions that took place without your knowledge.
- Educate yourself about the credit card scam and several other scams that have occurred. There are consumer protection and government-linked websites that provide information on such scams and steps to overcome them.
Credit card scams have been increasing as scammers obtain the latest technology and use several techniques. Scammers take advantage of this and lure their potential victims by offering magnifying services, which in reality are dubious and don’t exist. Legitimate credit card companies always follow designated protocols for services that are relevant to their firm and the consumers they need to target. However, on the other hand, scammers abide by fake websites that contain malware or viruses that are eligible to extract your personal information for deceptive purposes. However, to avoid and protect yourself from such scams, exercise due diligence in the industry or sector you are adhering to.
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