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At first glance, this scam looks so helpful. It’s a call or text message wanting to help you resolve an overpayment on your credit card. However, this sneaky con is actually a phishing scheme. And it’s only likely to get more popular, as COVID causes many shoppers to buy online and businesses to only accept credit cards.

How the scam works

You get a text message or a phone call from someone claiming to represent your credit card company. You are told there is a problem with a recent transaction. You’ve been overcharged, and the company wants to help you get your reimbursement. This scam is especially convincing because scammers often have targets’ names.

Sounds harmless, right? The problem is that this is really a phishing con. You need to answer a few questions in order to get your money back. Of course, these questions are asking for Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

Tips to spot this scam:

  • Consider how the company normally contacts you. If it is by phone, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or texts. Banks and credit card issuers have secure communications channels that require you to log into your account before you can read the message. Be especially cautious of generic emails that include little or no specific information.
  • Check directly with the bank or credit card issuer before sharing information. Use the customer service phone number on the back of your card, on your statement, or on the company’s website.
  • Don’t click, download, or open anything in a message before you can confirm it. When you were not expecting an email, verify the sender prior to clicking on any links. They are likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.

For more information:

Learn more about credit card scams at BBB.org/CreditCardScam.

For more about scams, go to BBB.org/ScamTips. You can visit BBB.org/AvoidScams to learn more on how to avoid common scams. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a scam, report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker.

Better Business Bureau serving Canton Region and Greater West Virginia offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices. Visit bbb.org/canton or call 330-454-9401 to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, read tips and more.

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