The next time you need to get hold of your credit card company, you should double check that phone number, because it could be a fake.
It’s something that seems as common as common sense.
“Essentially this fraud relies on people to not pay close attention to what they’re doing,” said Greg Dunn, CEO, Hawaii Better Business Bureau.
Let’s say you’re out at dinner and you find out you’ve got a problem with your credit card.
So you search the Internet for a phone number and dial the first one you see, assuming you’re contacting your bank.
You input your account information into the automated system.
“The fraudsters in this case have figured out that if they create a fake website name and buy a toll-free number that’s very close to many of the different lending institutions that have credit cards,” Dunn said.
They then promote these fake websites and phone numbers through Internet search ads, hoping you’ll misdial and click on them where you ultimately give away your credit card information.
That’s how they obtain “all of the things that you would need or that they would need in this case to duplicate that card, steal your identity and then charge on that card,” Dunn said.
The Hawaii Better Business Bureau says there are a few simple ways you can avoid becoming a victim.
First, look at the back of your credit card and use the phone number you find there Second, beware of Internet search results, since some of them aren’t always real. Lastly, consider storing contact information for your credit card company on your phone for easy access.
If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.