Credit cards are getting stolen a lot these days, but the credit card companies are getting really good at detecting this. The last time it happened, I received a call after only one fake charge had been made and I hadn’t even noticed it! The replaced my card and the whole situation barely made me miss a step.
The flip side of this is since it’s becoming more common, it’s a good place for scammers to hop in and confuse us. I just received a call saying my card had been compromised so it was now locked and I needed to input some information into the phone system. My suspicions were already high because the call was from 000-000-0000 and it referenced a card from a company that I didn’t think I did business with.
The bottom line is that you should assume ALL calls pertaining to anything like your credit card, bank information, retirement accounts, etc are fake. When I get a call like this that I think might be legit, I ask for the caller’s name and extension and tell them I’ll call them back. I then go look up a number that I trust from their main website or from the back of the card and try to get back to that extension. I did that last time my card was stolen and the guy said, “Wow, that was smart. I’ve never had anybody do that before.” It should be very common!
You’re not required to give out your information to anyone. Think about how you can verify the person you’re talking to. Social engineering scams like this are increasingly popular and you need to always have your guard up. If you’re interested in the topic and/or want to learn more ways to protect yourself, check out Kevin Mitnick’s book called The Art of Deception.