Don't fall for it! These unscrupulous scammers are targeting your personal financial information

Phony Credit and Debit Card Cancellation Calls
Image: Pixabay
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Consumers across North Carolina and beyond are continuing to receive automated telephone calls saying that their credit or debit card has been cancelled or deactivated.

While this may initially alarm unsuspecting consumers—don't fall for it! This is a scam targeting your personal financial information.

The automated message offers instructions for getting the card reactivated. Some recipients of the calls are instructed to "Press 1" (or 2), while others are given a telephone number to call. Regardless of the approach, recipients are eventually asked to enter their credit or debit card number, or other confidential information, as a supposed means of "verifying" cardholder identity.

According to those that have been targeted by this scam, the fraudulent calls appear to be coming from a variety of telephone numbers. Sometimes Caller ID displays only a partial number, or a number with no area code. The company or financial institution that issued the card is not named in the message.

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately.

Remember, text or voicemail messages warning of problems with your account and offering a "quick fix" if you enter your account information are always phony. A legitimate financial institution might use a phone message to make you aware of a potential problem, but only if you have previously provided your number and specifically asked to be notified in that manner. You should never be asked to give sensitive personal information over the phone.

To verify the existence (or lack) of any real issue with your credit or debit card, call the primary customer service number for your financial institution. This number can usually be found on your billing statement, or on the company's official website.

If you believe that you've been scammed, or if you suspect you've been targeted by a scammer, report it to the North Carolina Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

Potential phone scams should also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).