Watch Out for Possible Credit Card Scams

by David Ning · 15 comments

I am constantly amazed by the creativity of thieves when it comes to ways to scamming people. If we can get those people to apply their ability to constructive activities, the world will be so much better.

Currently in the United States, the credit card companies take the burden off customers for any fraudulent activities. What this simply means is that if someone steals my credit card and uses it, I won’t be charged for it as long as I report the lost in a timely manner. However, companies need to make money at the end of the day. If they are losing money because of fraudulent activities, they will try everything they can to pass the burden to us indirectly. That’s why one of the reasons for high credit card interest rates and service fees is fraud.

So while most of us don’t see the risk of being careless with our credit cards, it comes back to bite us one way or another. Below are some credit card scams that my mom sent me through an email. Hopefully we can all be more careful as we know some of the tactics these people use to get our credit card numbers.

Gym Locker Loser
A friend saw his locker opened after his workout, he thought he locked it but when he didn’t see anything missing in his wallet, he didn’t think too much of it.

A few weeks later when he got his credit card bill, it had a whopping $14,000.
He checked his wallet and realized that instead of his real card, the thief put in a similar looking card that’s already expired.

Shady Restaurant
A man signed for his bill and the waitress folded the receipt and passed the credit card back to him. He looked at the card and it was an expired card of another person.

He called the waitress and she looked perplexed. She apologized and hurried back to the counter and waved the wrong expired card to the counter cashier. Without saying a word, the cashier immediately looked down and took out the real card.

Bad Photography
A lady paid by using my Visa Check Card, and the young man behind the counter swiped the card, then laid it on the counter as he waited for the approval. While he waited, he picked up his cell phone and started dialing.

Then the unthinkable happened, as there was a click that sounded the phone just took a picture. He gave the card back to the lady and kept the phone in his hand and pressed a few more buttons.

What else would he be taking a picture of??

My Friend’s True Story
A few weeks ago, my friend emailed me and said she’s been a victim. She went to the same ATM machine as usual to withdraw cash but noticed that the ATM looked a little different. She didn’t think too much of it, even when she had to force the card through the card slot as she just thought it was a new bad design of the machine.

A few days later, her bank froze her account and notified her that the bank card was compromised as someone spent $6,000 with it in one day.

She is hopeful that she will get her money back but in the meantime, she is still trying to resolve this.

Don’t Let This Happen to You

While it’s impossible to totally be “scam-proof”, being alert is one of the best ways to prevent your credit card information from getting stolen. Always check your card after it leaves your hands, and pay extra attention every time something looks out of the ordinary.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Lifeisdynamic says:

    Well, the World gets scarier and scarier! I have not heard of any of these credit card scams – perhaps I live in a more protected or slower part of the World. Thankful for this mercy -so far! Thank you for the advance warning and I will certainly be more observant and checking my card on its return and that of the merchants activities in the future. Just when you think you know all there is to know about credit card fraud, you learn something else. I really am a babe in the woods!

  • Deborah says:

    Most every ecommerce merchant has experienced credit card fraud. But some merchants have experienced more fraud than others, and fraud-prevention efforts vary from merchant to merchant. Cybersource, the payment gateway company, tracks all of this. For 11 years now it has assembled an online fraud report called “Online Payment Fraud Trends, Merchant Practices and Benchmarks.” The architect of the report, and the survey behind it, is Doug Schwegman, CyberSource’s director of customer and market intelligence. He joins Practical eCommerce’s Kerry Murdock.

  • McKenzie S says:

    This is a great site. I have learned many things reading your blog. Thanks David.

  • fathersez says:

    As Dawn says, these guys are clever and really resourceful. However they have chosen to work dubiously, and have no interest in honest work.

    My concern is that as times get harder more and more of these guys (and gals) will come out of the woodwork.

  • Steve McKenzie says:

    I’m here to say there are all kinds of scams, especially online. To make a long story short, I’ve been trying to get a commercial loan for a property I own with ground contamination. Needless to say, nearly impossible in these tough times, especially with contamination. In the last 2 months I have dealt with over 125 different drokers, bankers, lenders, etc. with some wanting to guarantee me the money with a fee, paid up front. I don’t think so. Born late but no yesterday. One broker wanted me to sign a Power of Attorney in case I found the money elsewhere.

  • Jon Kepler says:

    Dealing with a bank card issue would obviously be tricky, but most if not all credit cards protect you against fraud.

    While I haven’t dealt with complete theft, I did deal with a company who refused to provide me with what I paid for. Issuing a chargeback wasn’t a big deal.

  • dawn says:

    Your post makes me wonder …
    Just think if these people scamming and stealing, actually put all their ambition & energy towards real business success?
    It’s too easy the illegal way –
    They would really accomplish something, if they succeeded in mainstream society..

  • Jerry says:

    There are a million ways that people will try to rip other people off, so I think the take home message that this post leads to is simply to be vigilant. A couple of years ago I had my identity stolen, and I STILL have no idea how it happened. Yeah, they have insurance for this kind of thing now, but it’s far better not to be a victim in the first place.
    Jerry

  • marci says:

    Snopes says they above scenarios are possible… but not common. Therefore, if they are possible, it doesn’t hurt to know about them 🙂

  • ClearDebt says:

    Being observant and always diligent is not only wise but it is also your responsibility. Avoiding the scams by being aware will save you so much time and aggravation. Canceling credit cards, dealing with credit card companies to resolve debt that has been falsely accumulated takes a ton of time.

  • Hi David,

    You don’t read Snopes before posting emails on your blog?

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/cardscams.asp

    I’m disappointed in this article.

    -Erica

  • MoneyNing says:

    Mike: I will have to disagree because I just went to Amazon to buy something where the shipping address is different than the billing.

    Some of the other ones actually happened to my friend too recently so we aren’t as safe as you’d seem to portray.

  • marci says:

    If you have a PO BOX for your address, they will ship to other sites. If someone can answer even one of your privacy questions, the shipment will be allowed to go elsewhere. I know – I have a PO Box.

    Thanks for the roundup.

  • Mike Huang says:

    Although those stories are true, they seem to be a bit outdated. Things like that don’t really happen anymore as they’re catched so quick. Having the credit number in hand basically doesn’t work because online companies won’t accept it anymore when you’re shipping it to a different address than your billing address.

    To be honest, I have done some of these “THINGS” before and it only worked about 6 years ago, but only ONE site worked. I believe all sites now require the shipping address be the same as the billing.

    -Mike

  • It’s truly amazing what people will do in the name of money. Some of these I’ve heard of before. The phone camera one I’ve definitely heard before.

    Good post. We all need to keep our eyes open and make sure we don’t fall prey to fraud.

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