From the looks of the news on credit cards, it seems like a criminal is on every corner trying to steal your credit card information.
An Indiana man was just locked up for 14 years after being found guilty of creating counterfeit credit cards. Secret Service agents found almost 21,000 credit card accounts on his computers, in his email and online account. He owned a printer, heat stamp press and magnetic stripe encoder, which allowed him to make cards with almost 100 different designs with holograms, signature pads and ultraviolet printing. How authentic!
And hot off the press, following a recent card-skimming scheme with a Mugs 'N Jugs waitress in Florida comes a robo-calling scam in Boston.
The Massachusetts state attorney general said that several residents have received automated calls late at night on their cell phones supposedly from their bank or credit card issuer. The fraudulent call tells the consumer that his or her credit card has been locked. To unlock it, consumers are asked to enter their credit card number or Social Security number.
Red flag! Obviously, the person who set up the call is hoping you're too exhausted or one cocktail too deep to realize it's a scam.
Here are some rules of thumb if you receive an unusual call, email or letter claiming your credit card has been locked, hacked, compromised or anything else that requires personal information to undo it.
1. Always contact your bank or credit card issuer using the customer service number on the back of the card to verify the correspondence.
2. If you accidentally give out information, call your state's attorney general and/or local police officials to report the possible scam. Also, contact your bank or credit card issuer about the possibility of a compromised account.
3. If you are concerned that new loans or credit accounts may be opened in your name, consider setting up a fraud alert or the more restrictive credit freeze with the credit-reporting agencies.
4. Always monitor your credit card statement for suspicious activity.
To learn more about the different types of credit card heists and the profiles of those criminals, check out my Bankrate article on credit card fraud.
Have you dealt with a compromised credit card account? Share your story.
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