If you own a credit card like one from Elan or Comerica, then you’ve probably read something about or have received calls from someone claiming to be from Card Member Services. The stories often tell about scammers trying to extract information specific to the owner’s credit cards. Read more about credit cards on MyAccountAccess.
You might be thinking, “Are all calls from card member services associated with fraudulent activity?” The answer is, no, not necessarily. Some banks use several third party entities to call you to collect a late payment or about a delinquent account.
Legitimate third-party entities usually include the company name in their introductions. They do these introductions so that you don’t get defensive during the call. For example: “Hello, this is Chase cardmember services.”
- 1 Not from Card Member Services: Unsolicited Calls from Robocallers
- 2 Determine if you are a Victim
- 3 Other Forms of Credit Card Member’s Fraud
Not from Card Member Services: Unsolicited Calls from Robocallers
Numerous American credit card owners have shared their own experiences in dealing with robocalls claiming from Card Member Services. Credit card owners with previous experiences tell about receiving pre-recorded phone calls from companies. These companies promise to give you a lower interest rate with your credit card issuer in exchange for a fee. This tempting promise often entices those who are desperately looking for better ways to settle their credit card debt.
The Federal Trade Commission warns the public of these fraudulent activities. And highly advises them to be skeptical of pre-recorded calls. FTC also added that credit card owners could get lower interest rates by asking their issuer without paying any fee. Of course, this request will still depend on your credit record.
During the call, the person pretending to affiliate with Card Member Services will try to extract data from you. They will ask for information like your credit card number and your Social Security number. Once the scammers have the information they need, gullible credit card owners will be left waiting for nothing.
Handling Actual Call about services
They will make you believe that they are legitimate entities. Here is some advice you should remember in order to handle the situation:
- Get the name of their company. Check if this is the one you have an account.
- Ask for their phone number. Check the number if it matches the website. Only call back if you have confirmed the figure.
- If the caller claims to be a third party entity that works with your creditor, verify with your creditor first.
- Make them finish verifying their identity before giving your own information. Legitimate entities have a record of your information, such as your outstanding balance and the exact amount of the payment due.
- If you can’t verify their identity despite following these steps, cut the call short and hang up.
What will you do if you receive one of these calls? While it would be best to hang up the phone, these callers might be very persistent.
Taking Preventive Measures Against Fraud
Con artists will always find a way to reach you and extract information from you. Below is a list of measures that you could take to lower the probability of getting scammed:
- Never let them know your credit card information during a call that you didn’t make. When the scammers have your data, they will make charges on your card or sell your info to others.
- Aside from your card information, don’t share other personal financial or sensitive information. This includes information such as your bank account or Social Security numbers.
- Register your number to the National Do Not Call Registry via DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222. Once registered, telemarketers can only call you if you agreed to accept calls from their company.
Determine if you are a Victim
Often, credit card owners fall victim to scams because of the sales pitch sounds enticing. They were told that they could get lower credit card rates, and they could pay off their debts faster. If you think you’re a victim of credit card fraud, here are some signs to look out for:
- You didn’t receive the monthly billing statement that you regularly expect in the mail
- You observed some unfamiliar charges on your credit card or bank account.
- You receive some questionable updates from your creditor that may be in the form of denial of credit, unfavorable terms, and collection of unfamiliar charges. Some might even receive cards that they didn’t apply.
Other Forms of Credit Card Member’s Fraud
Aside from getting unsolicited calls from Card Member Services, scammers may also use other forms to get your information. Here is a list of different kinds of credit card scams and be sure to look out for them:
Confirmation of Information on EMV Card
Banks have recently moved forward to EMV chip-enabled the card to reduce the probability of credit card fraud. Over the past few months, they have gradually issued these new cards to their clients. Credit card providers like Elan, Comerica, and Desert School are among those who have started this practice. Check out these three financial institutions if you want safe credit cards
Scammers will pose as your credit card issuer and send you a phishing email. In these emails, they will ask you to update your personal information before you receive an EMV credit card. These emails might also replicate official emails coming from your creditor. If faced with this situation, always keep these things in mind:
- Check the sender’s email address. If it comes from your creditor, it should match their official email.
- Never click any links on the phishing email
- Your credit card issuer will never ask you to update your information over email
- Your creditors automatically issue EMV credit cards to you even without any action on your part
- Do you want to know how to get your EMV credit card? Call your credit card issuer’s customer service
Potential Fraudulent Activities on Your Account
Scammers might also pose as your credit card issuers to warn you about strange activities on your card. They usually do these over the phone and will convince you to give your information, such as your security code. While credit card issuers do call up their clients for this purpose, it is still important to verify the caller’s identity. If faced with this situation, always keep these things in mind:
- Hang up the phone and call the number on the back of your credit card. Through this, it will ensure that you are speaking to someone from your credit card issuer.
- Never give out any personal information on any call you didn’t make.
- Monitor your credit card activities via your online account to spot potential fraudulent activities.
- Report any unauthorized charges on your card right away.
Fake Calls from Hotel Front Desks
Scammers may also try to extract your credit card information even while you’re on vacation! You might receive calls from someone at the front desk saying that there’s been an issue with the hotel system. After this, they will ask you for your credit card information because of the glitch. If faced with this situation, always keep these things in mind:
- Don’t give out the information of your credit card over the phone
- Go to the hotel front desk and verify that this was a legitimate request
- If you’re unable to go to the front desk right away, call the front desk again to verify the request
Connecting to Free Wi-Fi Networks
Making use of free Wi-Fi access will always be tempting, especially when you’re out on a trip. However, you should be wary about using these networks as scammers might also extract your information.
- Be careful with free Wi-Fi networks, especially in places that usually charge for Wi-Fi.
- For places that offer free Wi-Fi connection, always confirm with the employee the name of the network.
- Be careful of the information you send when you’re on a free Wi-Fi connection. Hackers might intercept the information you’re carrying even if it’s the right Wi-Fi network.
Scammers set up a free Wi-Fi without any password so they can get the information you send out on the system. If faced with this situation, always keep these things in mind:
Credit Card Skimming
Frequently, we don’t think about our credit cards when it’s swipe for goods and services. Even in these situations, scammers might also get your information without you looking. If you want to know more about credit cards, explore My Account Access.
Scammers might setup skimming devices on self-service checkout counters, gas stations, and ATMs. Other scammers have established a more established scheme of recruiting waitresses and cashiers.
These waitresses and cashiers swipe your credit card through a handheld skimming device without being noticed. If faced with this situation, always keep these things in mind:
- Inspect credit card readers before using them. Avoid those that look like they have tampered.
- Cover your hand when entering your pin.
- Monitor your credit and debit card accounts regularly through your online account. Spot any irregular charges on your account and report immediately.