Credit card scam is a pretty broad-ranging term that encompasses theft as well as fraud which are committed by credit or any other payment mechanism that is similar to it. You will learn many tips to prevent credit card fraud and scams here.
If a card is used to obtain goods without the intent to pay for it or to obtain illegal funds from another account, then that is a credit card related scam.
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t something that rarely happens. It is a crime that’s quite prevalent worldwide.
However, thanks to several countermeasures that have been set in place since the early 1990s, many would-be scams have been effectively avoided.
Of course, one also needs to consider the fact that it isn’t just the government that has to keep an eye out. We, as individuals, must learn how to recognize a potential scam.
In doing so, we can prevent losing our hard-earned money and save ourselves time as well as energy from trying to recover it.
But what can you do if you’re among those who have fallen prey to these credit card scammers? Many would think that there isn’t much one can do to recover, but that is false. To help you out and others much like you who have found themselves in the same situation, here are some of the things one must keep in mind.
Avoid credit card frauds and scams while shopping online
These days, more and more people are buying stuff online. After all, it is a very convenient alternative, especially if you are a very busy person and don’t have much time to go out there and shop.
Fraud and scams are more likely to happen when you use your card to shop online.
Now, every smart shopper would know that among the legitimate online shopping websites are scammers who would take advantage of an individual any chance they are given.
The number one victims of credit card scams are the senior citizens. That’s why it is so important to help our elderly by educating them on how to prevent them from getting fraud.
Therefore, one must remain vigilant and make sure that the website they’re buying stuff from is legitimate. Now, doing that is easier said than done. The thing is that some of these scammers can be good and even if you’ve taken precautions, there’s still a chance that you might fall prey to them. So, what can you do? Check out the list below:
- Do thorough research. Check the website/seller’s terms and conditions. Usually, if they are a legitimate company, there would be a very detailed list there. If there isn’t one and you feel like they are being vague about certain policies or if something seems too good to be true, then you might want to pause and think about going through with the purchase. Trust your instincts if it’s telling you that something might be off.
- Are you exchanging emails with the people behind the business? Usually, their email address can also be a telling sign of whether they’re legitimate or not. If they can afford to run a business then they would also be able to afford an “official” email address. If they are using a free one then you might want to reconsider dealing with them. This is especially so if they claim to have been around for a while.
- Check out photos of the merchandise itself. Are those taken from the manufacturer’s website? If the pictures seem like they’ve been taken off the website or a stock image then be wary.
- If you’re buying a branded product such as on iPhone then it would be wise to check the company website first. Usually, they would have a list thereof all the official establishments and resellers near or around your area. If the people you plan on buying the iPhone from aren’t listed there then it’s best to forget about the deal and get the phone from someplace else; preferably, one that’s listed.
- The price itself. One of the most common reasons why people purchase stuff online is because of the relatively lower price tag along with the fact that it is very convenient. However, if something is priced significantly lower than what it usually goes for in the market then you might want to think twice about making the purchase. It could be that the product is defective or that you’re not even going to receive anything. Are you willing to risk your money that way?
So there you have it, just some of the ways through which you can avoid getting scammed and losing your money. Of course, there’s more than just these, but it’s always good to have the basics in mind. With that said, shall we move on to the next topic?
Fraud and scams when other people use your card
There’s a general rule when it comes to online accounts and that would be, DON’T TRUST STRANGERS. In some cases, this can even apply to people you have known for quite a bit. Just take for example the cases wherein certain people you meet online would ask to use your bank account to wire some money and offer you half of the amount in exchange.
It sounds like a really good deal, right? After all, your account would only serve as a medium and you earn money from it as well. Before you take this as a heaven-sent an answer to any financial woes you might be having, stop, and think for a minute.
How well do you know these people? Remember that your banking information is sacred and if it falls into the wrong hands, you can easily lose all the money that you have saved in it. This is a very blatant scam.
Truth be told, even if it wasn’t, you should never give out your account information easily. You do not know what they could be planning on doing with it and they are still strangers.
As said earlier, keep your banking information sacred. This rule also applies when you’re looking for jobs online. Remember, not everything posted online is genuine and that includes job offerings as well. To help you avoid getting scammed, here are some red flags.
- Jobs that would ask you to use your account or make you open a new one.
- Jobs that would make you print/cash/mail a money order or check.
- Jobs that would ask you to use Moneygram or the Western Union.
- Jobs that would entail you to accept packages and re-ship these to other people.
- Jobs that would ask you to pay for travel fees and visas through Moneygram or the Western Union.
- Jobs that would ask you to sign up for credit reporting or any form of identity verification website.
In most cases, the scams can be quite obvious and would only require a bit of common sense on our part to find them out. However, it still pays to learn more and do a bit of research.
Simply Googling ”fake check cashing job” would turn up a few hundred posts from the victims themselves. From their experiences, one could easily learn what to avoid.
So if you’re venturing into a new endeavor, especially if it involves working online, take the time to study and find out more about the opportunity itself. This should save you from a lot of trouble in the future.
Credit card scams happen all the time. To safeguard consumer’s interest and as a care, almost all credit card issuing companies and banks offer free fraud protection services.
These days most of the card issuers implemented computer programs that automatically detect scams and frauds before you detect so. Of course, few false-positive incidents may occur.
For example, in April my online Homeopathic medicine purchase was in jeopardy as Chase somehow detected that as a fraudulent transaction. I had to call the help desk to clear the charges. But, I got fraud alerts a couple of times from both American Express and Chase in the past. They did take the fraudulent charges off my account and issued me replacement cards.
But it’s always prudent to be aware of such things and take preventative measures as described in this article.
Shawn James @ PipsToday says
Thanks for your valuable tips!
Its better to avoid the use of credit card as much as possible. Still for those who can’t avoid it have to be a part of the scams someday or the other.
You’re Shawn, its totally better to avoid the use of credit card especially if you’ve an option
Jenny @ Frugal Guru Guide says
There are ways of determining whether an online checkout process is legit, too.
I disagree that it’s “better to avoid credit cards.” I pay my bill on time every month and I enjoy the cash back, buyer protection, and other bonuses I receive from using my card!
[email protected] says
Great points. And never, ever respond to an email asking for your card information; even if it comes from a reputable vendor (whose email addresses are easily replicated).
The College Investor says
Great tips! Using a credit card helps us track our spending, but it is also necessary to take note and prevent certain problems that come with it. We must also be honest with ourselves and our finances if we want to get out of credit card debt.
Honesty is the best teacher and its one of the nitty grity things that can help us fight our debt. Thanks Robert Farrington.
Tomasz Gorski says
A well-researched post Bill! I second you in saying checking the website of the respective company when buying some products from a reputed brand and providing your information over phone. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Ryan @ RLD Investments says
I actually think using credit cards is good because of the ability to cancel payments. Of course, it is up to us to remain vigilant and try to spot any attempts at phony sites trying to get our information. One good rule of thumb, the page that is asking you to enter your information better be an https, not just the regular http. the s stands for security and it makes a difference.
Tomasz Gorski says
Thanks for approving my comment. Would like to see such great posts from you again in future. 🙂
You are right. We all have to be careful about using our credit cards because of the proliferation of scam artists.Be wary of online purchases since this is where unscrupulous people who prey on unsuspecting shoppers thrive.