Credit card scams are on the rise, and it’s important to be aware of the latest tricks that scammers are using to steal your money and your identity. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick people into giving them their credit card information, so it’s important to be vigilant and take steps to protect yourself.

Whether you’re a seasoned credit card user or just starting out, it’s important to be informed about the latest scams. By taking the time to learn about the different types of scams and how to avoid them, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common credit card scams and how to avoid them. We’ll also provide tips on how to protect your credit card information and what to do if you think you’ve been a victim of a scam.

A credit card scam is when an unauthorized individual uses your credit or debit card to make fraudulent purchases or steal money from the account. While some credit card scams will take your credit card information right out from under you, others use strategies to entice you to hand over your information.

Common Credit Card Scams

Credit card scams are everywhere, so it’s important to know the latest tricks that scammers are using. Here are some of the most common ones to be aware of:

1. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most common types of credit scams. Scammers send emails or text messages that look like they’re from a legitimate company, such as your bank or credit card company. They’ll ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which will take you to a fake website that looks like the real thing. Once you enter your personal information on the fake website, the scammers will steal it.

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How to avoid phishing scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails and text messages. Legitimate companies won’t ask you to click on links or open attachments in unsolicited messages.
  • Hover over links before you click on them. This will show you the actual URL of the website that the link goes to. If the URL doesn’t look like the URL of the company that the email or text message is supposedly from, don’t click on it.
  • Never enter your personal information on a website that you don’t trust. If you’re not sure whether a website is legitimate, contact the company directly.

2. Skimming Scams

Skimming scams are another common type of credit scam. Scammers install card skimmers on ATM machines, gas pumps, and other point-of-sale devices. When you swipe your credit card on a skimmed device, your card information is stolen.

How to avoid skimming scams:

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  • Inspect ATM machines and other point-of-sale devices before you use them. Look for any signs of tampering, such as loose or damaged parts.
  • Use your hand to shield the keypad when you’re entering your PIN. This will help to prevent scammers from seeing your PIN number.
  • Consider using a chip-enabled credit card or debit card. Chip-enabled cards are more difficult to skim than traditional magnetic stripe cards.

3. Identity Theft Scams

Identity theft scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers steal your personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and credit card numbers, and use it to open new accounts or make fraudulent purchases in your name.

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How to avoid identity theft scams:

  • Be careful about who you give your personal information to. Only give out your personal information to companies and organizations that you trust.
  • Shred any documents that contain your personal information before you throw them away.
  • Monitor your credit reports and bank statements regularly for any unauthorized activity.

4. Employment Scams

Employment scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers offer you a job and then ask you to pay them a fee or provide them with your personal information. Once you pay them or give them your personal information, they disappear with your money.

How to avoid employment scams:

  • Be wary of any job offer that seems too good to be true. If an employer is offering you a high-paying job with little or no experience required, it’s probably a scam.
  • Never pay a fee to get a job. Legitimate employers will not charge you a fee to apply for a job or to be hired.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, to a potential employer unless you’re sure that the job is legitimate.

5. Credit Repair Scams

Credit repair scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers promise to improve your credit score for a fee. However, they often use illegal or unethical methods to try to improve your credit score, which can actually make your credit score worse.

How to avoid credit repair scams:

  • Be wary of any company that promises to improve your credit score for a fee. There is no legitimate way to improve your credit score overnight.
  • Do your research before you hire a credit repair company. Make sure that the company is licensed and has a good reputation.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, to a credit repair company unless you’re sure that the company is legitimate.
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6. Advance Fee Scams

Advance fee scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers ask you to pay them a fee in order to receive a loan or other financial assistance. However, once you pay them the fee, they disappear with your money and you never receive the loan or assistance that you were promised.

How to avoid advance fee scams:

  • Be wary of any company that asks you to pay a fee in order to receive a loan or other financial assistance. Legitimate lenders will not charge you a fee to apply for a loan or to be approved for a loan.
  • Do your research before you apply for a loan. Make sure that the lender is licensed and has a good reputation.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, to a lender unless you’re sure that the lender is legitimate.

7. Fake Check Scams

Fake check scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers send you a check and ask you to deposit it and then wire them a portion of the money. The check will eventually bounce, and you’ll be out the money that you wired to the scammers.

How to avoid fake check scams:

  • Never deposit a check from someone you don’t know and trust.
  • Be wary of any check that is for a larger amount of money than you are expecting.
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know and trust.
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8. Charity Scams

Charity scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers impersonate legitimate charities and ask for donations. The donations will often go into the scammers’ pockets instead of to the charities that they claim to be representing.

How to avoid charity scams:

  • Do your research before you donate to a charity. Make sure that the charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used for its intended purpose.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your credit card number or Social Security number, to a charity unless you’re sure that the charity is legitimate.

9. Investment Scams

Investment scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers promise you high returns on your investment. However, the investments are often fraudulent, and you’ll lose all of your money.

How to avoid investment scams:

  • Be wary of any investment that promises high returns with little or no risk.
  • Do your research before you invest in any company or product. Make sure that the company is legitimate and that the investment is suitable for you.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your credit card number or Social Security number, to an investment company unless you’re sure that the company is legitimate.

10. Prize Scams

Prize scams are a type of credit scam in which scammers tell you that you’ve won a prize, but you have to pay a fee or provide them with your personal information in order to receive the prize. However, there is no prize, and you’ll lose your money or your personal information.

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How to avoid prize scams:

  • Be wary of any unsolicited call, email, or letter that tells you that you’ve won a prize.
  • Never pay a fee or provide your personal information in order to receive a prize.

What To Do If You’re a Victim of Credit Card Scam

The first action item if you’re a victim of a credit card scam is to contact your credit card company to let them know about the fraud. Per the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have 60 days after receiving your billing statement to report any fraudulent activity on your card. After informing your creditor of the incident, make sure to change your password for your account.

You may also want to contact the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Request verification of your identity, and ask for a fraud alert to get linked to your report.

TransUnion: Your Shield Against Identity Theft

TransUnion has an identity theft production product subscription that monitors your information to the far reaches of the dark web, alerts you when a risk is detected, and offers fraud resolution support backed by $1M in ID theft insurance.

Additionally, if you’re a credit card scam victim, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report the crime. You can report your incident online or over the phone at 1-877-382-4357.

If you’ve discovered a fraudulent website, email, or another internet scam, report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Unfortunately, not all scams originate in the U.S.; if you’re a victim of an international scam, report it through econsumer.gov.

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You can protect yourself from credit scams by being aware of the latest scams and by taking steps to protect your personal information. By following the tips above, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a credit scam.