Thieves never run out of tricks to collect credit card information so they can open fraudulent account in other people’s name. One of these tactics is to convince the credit card holder to give up his or her credit card and/or other personal information through credit card telephone scams. Crooks don’t just ring your phone and ask for credit information. They do it by making a fake situation to convince you to give up some your personal information to meet a need.
Even though phone scams may sound outdated, they still run rampant. They are especially effective against the elderly. Make sure you and your loved ones are knowledgeable enough when it comes to the most common telephone scams like these:
Swindlers are masters of emotional manipulation. These con artists push psychological buttons adding a sense of urgency to intimidate you and get you make a move without thinking about it. What do people fall for the most? Fake IRS calls.
Scammers have been calling people recently pretending to be the IRS warning them that there was an error in their last tax filing and that this call was their final notice.
They might also warn people, threatening to take them to jail or to deport them if they don’t act fast. For an unsuspecting person, this kind of threat could overwhelm any doubt they might have had with the call. That fear may lead straight to the impulsive action, which the scammers wanted.
A tell tale sign that you are on the line with a fake IRS agent is they will say they can clear up the problem if you go and make a payment thru Western Union. If you send money via Western Union, that money can’t be traced once you find out you have been scammed. There is also no recourse, so you won’t get that money back.
Watch Out for Fake Fundraisers and Charities
You might receive a cold call every so often asking you to contribute for a local organization’s fundraising campaign. Beware as this could be a scam. Once scammers obtain your financial information, they are so close in using your credit or opening account in your name.
The solution to this is simple. If you want to contribute, hang up and confirm by calling the local organization they are referring to. It’s a bit awkward, but it lessens your chances of getting scammed. The FBI also recommends that you request written material about any charitable work before making a donation.
What to do if you’re a Victim of Telephone Scam
If you’ve given out your personal information by mistake, call your credit card issuer right away. They’ll be the one to immediately close your account and issue a new card to you.
To avoid further credit card fraud, check your account online in a regular basis, read your card’s billing statement thoroughly, as well as report any suspicious activity to the issuer of your credit card immediately.
If you gave out your social security number to someone by accident, you can place a security freeze or fraud alert on your credit report in order to prevent new fraudulent accounts from being opened under your name. A security freeze will not allow anyone to view, or obtain new credit with your information unless they have a password that was issued by the credit reporting agencies. They will also have to pay to “un-freeze” your credit report.
A fraud alert alerts creditors that there maybe fraud being done against your account and they are supposed to call the number you gave to verify that its you that is applying for the new line of credit.
Between the two, the credit freeze is a lot harder to circumvent. It stays in effect until you lift it. While a fraud alert only last 90 days and some people forget to renew it. Fraudsters that know you put a fraud alert on your credit report can wait the 90 days. To them, this is a business. So they keep good records. They will test your account again in 90+ days and see if they can purchase anything with your credit. While with a credit freeze they will have no idea when, or even if you will lift the freeze. They may try again a few times and then just move on to another victim if they can’t get to you anymore!