credit cards

Lender notice sounds like phishing scam

Don Taylorq_v2.gifDear Dr. Don,
I was notified by Chase, or someone posing as Chase, that unless I replied and objected, my credit card account would be closed within 60 days due to two years of inactivity. The last four digits of the account were given.

I never have had an account or a business relationship with Chase. The letter looks like a scam. There is no address, no logo and no phone number. I ignored it. Have you heard similar stories?
-- Walter Wary

a_v2.gifDear Walter,
If you got this notice as an e-mail, it's likely to be a phishing scam. The word "phishing" comes from combining phony with fishing.

Including the last four digits of the account is a nice touch. But if you don't have an account, how can you have those four digits? Don't click through on any of the links in the message you received, no matter how legitimate the link looks.

When I get one of these e-mails, I typically go to the Web site of the firm in question and do a search with the keyword "phishing." I did that with Chase, and the company actually has a Web page, "Fraudulent E-mail Examples," with the different known phishing letters targeting Chase's customers. I didn't see the letter you describe on that page. Contact Chase with your letter and concerns.

Another possibility is that someone opened a Chase account in your name. If that were the case, it's unlikely Chase would be chasing you down for account inactivity. In fact, it's more likely they'd be looking for payment on charges you didn't make.

Still, a quick review of your credit reports will show whether or not you have a Chase account on your credit history.

Since it is suspected fraud, you can get a free copy of your credit report directly from the credit bureaus by adding a fraud alert to your credit report. Bankrate's "Contacting the credit bureaus" provides the contacts.

You're also eligible for a free credit report once each year from these bureaus. The Bankrate feature "How to get your free credit report" tells you how to get your free annual reports.

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