New Credit Card Scam Targets Consumers by Phone

Credit cards scammers have a new tool to defraud consumers. Most people have heard of “phishing,” when fraudsters ask consumers to reveal personal credit information in response to a fraudulent e-mail message. This new scam is called “vishing“ – phishing by phone.

Fraudsters prompt this new scam either by e-mail message or by a phone call, which can be recorded or live. Typically consumers will be asked to type in an account number or other information over the phone. The thief then uses this information to steal credit or for identity theft.

Thieves often use huge lists of consumers’ names to make cold calls, saying they are calling on behalf of well-known banks and familiar companies. They hope the targeted consumer will be a customer and will return the call thinking the creditor is genuine.

Banks say if there is a legitimate problem with a customer account, a real person will call from the bank’s fraud control department. Banks would never send automated messages asking consumers to type in sensitive information over the phone.

If you get a call that sounds suspicious, hang up. Use the phone number printed on the back of your credit card to call back and ask the bank about the call you received. If you have been a “vishing” victim, report your experience to the FTC’s identity theft website.


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