Credit Cards Blog

Finance Blogs » Credit Cards » Credit card thieves abound!

Credit card thieves abound!

By Janna Herron ·
Monday, September 12, 2011
Posted: 2 pm ET

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
bonnie Hayslett
October 20, 2011 at 11:51 pm

To be verified by paypal you do have to give them your bank info.Once you are verified your account limits are raised. It is legit. I have a paypal merchant account set up through a small account(about $200) that is NOT LINKED to my other accounts but stickly for internet transactions. I also have the paypal debit card. I have never had any problems with paypal.

H Jensen
September 14, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I get phone calls all the time to lower my interest rate on my credit card. But they want all of my account numbers with ss number.Beware people. Also I received a e-mail from PayPal international wanting me to pay a shipping charge on a item that I was selling before they would pay me for the item. It looked real, but it wasn't from PayPal. Beware people

September 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm

There's another scam happening via phone. At least I think it's a scam.

I keep getting these automated calls saying there's no problem with my credit card but to lower the interest on my card to continue to talk to someone. I did so once and asked what company they represented. Got a lot of hemming and hawing. Bottom line, they are NOT from my credit card company or any legit company I've heard of. The calls are non-stop though I asked that my number be removed. The calls are coming from multiple phone numbers,none of which can be contacted if you call back. Beware and don't fall for this one!

Nicholas Fasola
September 14, 2011 at 8:56 am

Here is a aver good credit card tip!!!

Use 1 designated credit card (call it the secondary card)use it for all internet and phone purchases. Use a second separate card (call it the primary card) for all other purchases. If you get caught on an internet or phone scam, the thief has a free ride with your credit card information.“It is incredibly easy and effortless to use someone’s credit.”

If you are caught in a internet or phone scam, simply call the “secondary” card processing company and cancel it. HERE ARE THE BENEFITS. The secondary card is closed all transactions are void. The primary card is still active; your primary
accounts are not affected! No late charge penalties, no carried –over interest fees, no collection calls, and no credit report problems. If you shop for a no annual fee card, it will cost you nothing to protect yourself.

Julia Miller
September 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I recently received an e-mail from PayPal, stating that I had almost reached my maximum spending. ??? Didn't know I had one. In order to have this limit removed I am being asked to give them my bank account information. I said no. I do not give that information to anyone, especially over the Internet. I also asked why do you even need it, I pay you with a credit card,you make a fee and are always paid in full.

I have spoken to many others regarding this and they have all said "stay away from it". They have never heard of it and they use PayPal frequently.

I want to know is this legal.

September 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm