When most of us think about credit card scams, we automatically assume they involve numbers being stolen or that someone used our identity to take out a credit card in our name. The truth is that there are many different types of credit card scams we need to be aware of.
Phishing scams involve a text, email, or another form of communication that’s sent to you for some reason. Common examples include:
- Emails about a problem with your credit card
- Direct messages saying you’ve won a prize
- Texts for missing shipments
The communications always look like they come from a trustworthy organization, such as your bank or even your credit card company. They also always include a link that the message says you should click. At some point, they request your credit card number.
The scary thing about phishing credit card scams is that they can sometimes look real. Many people click the link and provide their credit card information without even giving the message a second thought. The best way to find out if something is legitimate is by contacting the message’s sender directly. Do this via a separate message, don’t simply reply to the original one which the scammer could use to gain access to your computer files.
The Overcharging Scam
Some businesses, including some gas stations and hotels, will actually overcharge your credit card to make sure the funds are actually available. The money is usually returned to your account after about 24 hours. The problem is that there are some scammers who have figured out a way to make it appear like a business has overcharged your account. You’ll thank get a message from that “business” alerting you to the overcharge. They will either give you a link to click or a number to call so you can be reimbursed.
These situations always turn into a phishing scams which results in your losing money. If your credit card has been overcharged, contact your credit card company directly and ask them how you should proceed.
The Charity Scam
With the holidays fast approaching, brace yourself for the charity credit card scam. This scam involves you being contacted by a non-profit organization that is asking for a credit card donation. It’s often a non-profit that you’ve donated to in the past. The problem is that it’s not a rep from the non-profit on the other end of the line. It’s someone who simply wants to steal your credit card information.
If you want to make a charitable donation to your favorite non-profit, it’s in your best interest to contact them directly and preferably in person, that way you know that the money really is going to a good cause.