There seems to always be another scam to watch out for these days, some are new and some are just rehashed versions of past scams. The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department has received several calls recently regarding a credit card scam in our area.
According to victims, this is how the transaction occurs. Your phone will ring and if you have caller id a 1-888 number will appear. The caller will offer a low fixed-rate interest on a credit card or credit card consolidation. The caller will then ask for credit card numbers, expiration dates, social security numbers, mother’s maiden name and other verification passwords. Once the caller has obtained the information they will tell you they need to process the information and will call you back. In addition there will be a one-time financial fee which will vary in amount.
Once the suspect has gathered the victims personal information they have the ability to open lines of credit, make purchases and ultimately impact the victim’s credit rating. The process to reverse the damage of an incident like this is mind boggling to say the least. This is just one of many types of scams out there attempting to take your hard earned money.
There are some simple rules to follow when it comes to protecting your money and credit:
• Unless you initiated the phone call, never give out confidential information (account number, Social Security number or mother’s maiden name) to anyone who calls.
• Review your statement each month for unauthorized purchases.
• Do not send credit card numbers through e-mail. E-mail is typically not secured.
Residents who believe they have been a victim of credit card fraud should first contact their credit card issuer to report the fraud and cancel their card, and then contact the Sheriff’s Office to initiate a criminal investigation. To initiate a criminal investigation, victims will need to provide to law enforcement the credit card number, where the suspected fraudulent purchase was charged and the amount of the charge. Providing the two most recent credit card statements is also helpful to investigators.