Here’s a scary one…
A few days ago, my wife got a call from our credit card company.
Apparently, they detected fraud on our CC account and wanted to make sure we didn’t make those charges. To confirm they were speaking with the right person, they asked my wife a few questions to confirm her identity.
– Are you the primary account holder?
– What does your middle initial stand for?
– What are the last 4 of your social security number?
Wait…the last 4 of the social? Bullshit.
From the moment she picked up, my wife sensed that something was off.
It just didn’t feel right. She said “I don’t know” to the first question. She answered the second because it’s public information anyway.
Once they asked her for the last 4 digits of her social, she hung up.
“There’s no way this is real,” she told me.
I immediately got on the phone and called our credit card company. I asked if anyone had called us…
…and we got the answer we expected: Nope.
That was a fraudulent call pretending to be our credit card company, hoping to extract enough information to commit real fraud.
And then I realized that well over half of Americans who have a credit card (over 150,000,000 people) have experienced fraud on their accounts.
But here’s the truly f’ed up thing about it: They knew our most recent charges. They knew our credit card balance. They knew our credit limit.
I don’t know if they’re working with someone on the inside, but it has gotten to the point where the fraud is pretending to prevent fraud.
Yeah, let that sink into your head for a minute.
They knew personal information about us. They called and tried to extract more. Luckily, it didn’t work. We closed that credit card immediately.
This email is a public service announcement: When something doesn’t feel right, listen to that feeling. Instead of forking over information to someone who called you, hang up and call the company back.
You will NEVER regret taking the extra precaution.
But, you damn sure will regret not taking the extra precaution and accidentally giving a con artist sensitive information about you.
What should you do if you suspect fraud?
If you think your credit card number has been stolen or someone over the phone is asking questions about your account that doesn’t sound right, here’s what you need to do immediately:
1: Contact your credit card company: Call the phone number on the back of your credit card or on your billing statement. Report the suspected fraud and ask them to freeze your card or account to prevent any further unauthorized transactions. You may also be able to do this online.
2: Review recent transactions: Check your credit card statement or online account for any transactions you don’t recognize or didn’t make. Make a note of any suspicious transactions or charges.
3: File a fraud report: If you have evidence of fraudulent activity, file a report with your credit card issuer and/or the relevant authorities. If you think your identity has been stolen, consider filing a police report.
4: Update your security information: If your card has been compromised, update your account information, including your password and security questions, to prevent further fraud.
5: Monitor your credit: Keep an eye on your credit reports and scores to ensure that no new bank accounts or credit cards have been opened in your name without your consent.
Stay safe out there and chat with you next week,