What are some common credit card scams? Credit card scams seem to be the rave of the century. Most victims struggle to recover from having their valuable possessions taken away. However, credit card scams are becoming more complicated by the minute.
The Federal Trade Commission states that there were over 2.1 million cases of fraud and identity theft in 2020 which is a 138% increase in over a decade. The first step to avoiding becoming a victim of credit card scams is knowledge. So, in this article, we will talk about the common credit scams in town and how you can possibly avoid them.
8 Common Credit Card Scams and How to Avoid Them
1). Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most common credit scams. This scam happens when someone steals some sensitive information such as Social Security Number, Credit Card, or any money-related document, and goes ahead to obtain loans or purchase some items with that information. By the time the scammer defaults in payment, the credit card company will immediately contact the real owner of the information for prosecution. If you don’t want to fall to this scam, then it is important you protect your information in the best possible way.
To stay protected;
- Run a yearly check on your credit reports. You can obtain your reports from your credit agencies.
- Hide all your classified documents like bank account details, credit card information, and other documents with sensitive information. You can hide them in a shredder.
- Consider using a professional credit monitoring firm to keep an eye on your documents.
2). The Charity Scam
The activities of online scammers have polluted the minds of philanthropists and peddlers of goodwill from helping people. This normally happens when there is a natural disaster. These scammers start calling concerned citizens and the general public to financially assist victims of the said natural disaster. They always pretend to be pioneering a reputable charity organization. This strategy often works for them because it is believed that when a charity worker presents a pitiable story and solicits public donations, people tend to swiftly respond by providing their credit card details.
To avoid this credit card scam:
- If you are asked to donate to a cause, do not give them your credit card details, even if the request looks legitimate.
- Always search for their phone number on the internet to know what other people say about them.
3). Online Dating Sites
No matter how odd this sounds, scam activities have greatly infiltrated most dating sites. In fact, research from a reliable source reveals that visitors of dating sites lost over two hundred million dollars in 2019 alone. These websites always request service charges from their clients and in turn steal their information.
- The thing is, real dating sites exist. One of the ways you can find out is by checking for accurate customer reviews.
4). The Hotspot Scam
Be careful of how you use public Hotspots or Wi-Fi connections because internet fraudsters can keep a close watch on your online activities. Indeed, some of these free Wi-Fi is just set up by credit card thieves who are waiting for any slight opportunity to steal your information. With the increasing sophistication in technology, your computer and smartphone can easily connect to a public Wi-Fi when you connect. Sometimes, you even receive to pay for the public Wi-Fi and that’s how they try to steal your credit card details.
- To avoid the hotspot credit card scam, be cautious about using public hotspots. If you must use public Wi-Fi at a store or restaurant, always have an employee check that you are logging in to the correct network name and password information.
- Be wary of ever using any hotspot with names like “Free Public Wi-Fi”
- Also, consider using a VPN (a virtual private network) to create a secure connection even when you use unsecured public networks.
5). Interest Rate Scam
This is not a new credit card scam. The way it works is that you receive a call from an unknown identity and an automated voice says that you are qualified to negotiate a lower interest rate for transactions on your credit card. The voice promises a strong connection with credit card organizations that can help facilitate the deceptive offer. No matter how interesting this sounds, know that it is a false promise.
Perhaps if you keep listening to their lies, they will move you to a supposed online representative for a live chat. At this point, they will request to have your sensitive information and when you oblige their request, your money is gone.
- You can avoid this scam by placing a strict caller setting on your phone. Do not be in a hurry to accept sweet offers.
6). The Overcharge Scam
While online transactions are getting popular, internet fraudsters are busy stealing from shoppers through credit card scams. In this case, scammers put a phone call to an online shopper with the information that their credit card was overcharged after a recent transaction. The scammer will ask a series of private questions with the pretense of helping you to recover your supposed excess. This is just a way to harvest your personal information.
- To avoid being victimized, you have to be careful in knowing when to release your banking details and when to ignore them.
- Always review your credit card statement and maintain close contact with your credit card company.
7). Lottery Scams
This type of scam is widespread and affects young people. It happens when you receive an email notification, saying that you received a lottery ticket that you can’t remember applying for. The email will mandate you to pay a little fee with your credit card in order to get the lottery. The scammer collects the money and details of the credit card and then disappears.
- You should know that no legitimate lottery organizer will ask for your personal information even as a lottery winner.
Phishing is a scam activity that attempts to obtain personal information like passwords, usernames, bank account details, as well as credit card information. Internet fraudsters make this move through emails, pretending to work in a legitimate organization, and even tagging some legitimate companies just to convince their victims. These tactics are familiar to most people and the few who don’t know have fallen victim.
There are several ways you can protect yourself:
- One of them is that you need to be wary of websites that regularly pop up on your screen and request you type in your personal details for an attractive reward. Before you take such action, it is advised that you do a quick check on such websites and see what people are saying.
To conclude, many people around the world have suffered the effect of these common credit card scams, and recovering from it is very slow and emotionally draining. Just like I mentioned in this article, you can avoid being a victim by employing every security measure possible. Doing so means getting all the information possible about cybersecurity and how it applies to you. If you shop online or use any connected devices, always play it safe with your credit card information to avoid falling for these common credit card scams.