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Credit Card Scams to Watch Out for In 2020
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Credit Card Scams to Watch Out for In 2020

(STL.News) In an age where cash is increasingly becoming an antiquated method of payment, the risk of credit and debit card fraud is higher than ever.

In fact, a recent AARP survey found that 47% of Americans have experienced a fraudulent transaction on a credit or debit card purchase.  Yet, only 14% of the victims opted to freeze their credit cards—a necessary step to keep scammers at bay.

Bottom line: Credit card fraud is a real threat, and it can fall upon anyone—whether you own a personal or business credit card.

And no matter how modern your credit card issuers’ security systems are, scammers are never far behind.  That being said, we’ve identified some of the common credit card scams to watch out for in 2020 alongside information on how to stay vigilant.

1. Card Skimming Scam

Credit card skimming has been making the headlines of late.  It’s a very sophisticated technique used by fraudsters and can make you incur huge financial losses, especially if you have issued credit cards on your business account to your employees.

How does it work?

A scammer will place a card skimming device (skimmer) over a card reader.  This device can collect your card’s data and transmit it via Bluetooth to the scammers. Upon receiving your card’s data, the crooks will clone your card and go on a shopping spree. Skimming devices are often installed in public outlets such as in gas stations and ATMs.

While it can be hard to detect a skimming device in a payment terminal, there are some credit card fraud detection measures you can take to mitigate the risks of fraud.  These include turning on transaction alerts for your credit card and using alternative means of payments, such as smartphone mobile payments where possible.

2. Interest Rate Scam

Interest rate reduction scam is common to business credit card owners, though personal credit card owners are not immune to it.

How does it happen?

You receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of your credit card company.  They’ll tell you that you’re eligible for a special program that will cut your interest rate and/or slash your credit card debt.

To enroll for the program, they will ask to verify your credit card information and charge you a hefty fee for the service.  You might be charged even if you refuse to join the program.  You can reduce the likelihood of getting these calls by adding your number to the Do Not Call Registry.

Note that credit card companies do offer promotional interest rates to their customers from time to time.  However, they never request their customers to pay anything in return.

3. Public Wi-Fi Scam

Free Wi-Fi is everyone’s cup of coffee.  But to the 21st-century scammer, public Wi-Fi is akin to a goldmine.  Many people have lost thousands of dollars to scammers through Wi-Fi scams.

How does the scam work?

Scammers will launch a business, like a coffee shop, and set up free Wi-Fi.  Once you’re connected, the scammer will be able to view any information you send over the network.

In the event you place an order or check your credit card balance, the scammer will get all your credit card information, including your card number, username, and password.  That’s all the info they need to clone your card.

We hope this guide will widen your knowledge of credit card fraud and help you to stay vigilant at all times.  Feel free to comment and share.

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