Sunday, June 8, 2014

BBB Scam Alert: Beware of Fake Bank Fraud Alerts

Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about credit and debit card fraud alerts that appear to come from a financial institution.

With many banks and credit card companies offering alerts for their account holders, criminals have devised a way to commit fraud by claiming your card has been used by someone else.

How the scam works:

You receive an automated call or text claiming that your credit or debit card has been deactivated. You are informed that the problem is easy to fix by calling a customer service number and confirming some information.

One such text reads “Your ATM card has been put on hold. Call Customer Department now at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.”

If you call, you hear a recorded message that instructs you to enter your 16 digit credit card number. Unfortunately, the fraud alert and customer service number are fake, and consumers who follow the instructions leave themselves open to credit card fraud.

To avoid becoming a victim:

Familiarize yourself with fraud alert communication policies – Did you sign up for text alerts? Make certain you understand how your bank or credit card company will let you know if they suspect your card has been used fraudulently.

Verify the telephone number – Don’t call the number given in the text message. You can find the customer service number for your bank or credit card issuer on the back of the card or on their website, in order to allow you to confirm the status of your card.