If you’re not worried about identity theft and credit card scams, it’s time to be very afraid. Shredding your credit card statements before dumping them into the trash barrel won’t provide a bulletproof barrier between you and canny identity thieves. Credit card investigators now suggest that you wise up now to the top five credit scams and the people who run them.
People are waking up to find their debit and credit card balances hijacked following a purchase at a gas station or convenience store. That’s because tech-savvy thieves capture your pin number through hidden security cameras or by installing plastic caps over the ATM that collect your data. Keep your transactions to a minimum and put your hand over the keypad.
Fraud Department Impersonators
They work like this: pretending to be part of your bank’s credit card fraud investigation squad, they ask for the three-digit security code on the back of your card to help them confirm a purchase. Since they’ve already captured your account number, they’re now set to go on a wild spree at your expense.
You don’t know when it happened, but suddenly your computer begins a malware program following a download that can record your keystrokes and report your online credit card or banking transactions. Get thee to a virus scan.
The Highest Bidder Loses
Beware online auction sellers that insist on processing your purchase through their own network, rather than from the auction site’s protected check-out system. In short order, you’ll find that you’ve bought and spent way more than the amount you bid. In fact, collection agencies begin to phone at all hours.
I’ll Be Your Waiter
Unfortunately, your server may take just a few seconds longer when you slip your credit card into the check folder. Using a hand-held skimmer behind the dining area, the crook transmits your data to an accomplice. Now you have your unjust desserts.
By the way, phones can be hacked, too. Don’t give out your credit card info in response to a recorded message with an offer that sounds all too good to believe. That means both land lines and cell phones. Beware!