Crooks often trick people into giving up their credit card information over the phone. You receive a phone call from someone who says they're from your credit card company. The caller asks you to confirm some personal information, e.g. your credit card number, credit card security code, social security number, or mother's maiden name. After the call ends, the caller uses the information you gave to make charges on your account or to create a new account in your name. Credit card telephone scammers sometimes get you to call them by leaving the number on your answering machine or in an email.
In some credit card telephone scams, the thief asks you to sign up for a product or service then asks for your credit card information to pay for the service.
How to Avoid a Credit Card Telephone Scam
Don't give out any information on calls you didn't initiate, no matter how legitimate the call may seem. Scammers can even spoof your caller ID and have your creditor's name show up. Don't be fooled. Only trust calls that you initiate by calling the customer service number on the back of your credit card or own your credit card billing statement. Don't return calls from numbers left on your answering machine or sent in an email.
What to Do If You're Scammed
It's easy to fall prey to a credit card telephone scam. If you mistakenly give out your personal information, call your creditor immediately. You may be given a new credit card number to prevent fraudulent charges from being made on your account. Check your account regularly and report any suspicious activity.
If you accidently gave out your social security number, place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit report to prevent new accounts from being opened in your name. Monitor your credit report regularly and dispute any accounts that don't belong to you.