Scammers charging small amounts to cards - WFLA News Channel 8

Scammers charging small amounts to cards

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The Better Business Bureau is warning the $9.84 charge that could be a scam on your credit card statement will likely not be the end of low-charge bogus amounts.

"This small charge scam has been around for many years. It's always happened," said Bryan Oglesby, the Director of Business Relations for the Better Business Bureau of West Florida. "It's coming out into the light more frequently now because of all the data breach and problems occurring with credit cards."

Oglesby said consumers are becoming more diligent after recent suspected data breaches at stores like Target, Neiman Marcus, and the craft store Michaels.

This week, the Better Business Bureau warned consumers to be on the lookout for a recent strange charge of $9.84 on their credit card statements. The source listed on the bill will likely be from an unfamiliar website. Victims were recently all charged the $9.84 amount, but scammers may change that amount as word gets out.

"Scammers are banking on the fact that you're not going to notice the charge. That's why it's a small charge," Oglesby said. "It's much more productive for them to do millions of small charges and reaping that benefit than doing a couple of large charges and being caught much quicker."

Bonnie Stine, who was in Tampa's Ybor City to eat dinner Wednesday night says she's always checked her statements but does so even more now.

"It's made me even more vigilant," she said about recent data breaches. "Occasionally the thing would come in and I'd go real quick through it but now I'm looking very closely at every entry."

She has also been on the lookout for even the smallest charge.

"I think it's really of concern because people use credit cards so often these days...for the smallest purchases," she said.

The BBB gives these tips to reduce your risk of card fraud:
  •   Report lost cards and incorrect charges promptly. In the United States and Canada if your credit card is lost, stolen, or used without your permission, you may be responsible for up to $50. If you report the loss before the card is used, you're not responsible for any unauthorized charges. In addition, many cardholders are protected by zero liability policies set in place by credit card companies.
  •   Request a new card if you notice unauthorized charges. Fraudulent charges mean your card information has been compromised. Be on the safe side and request a new card.
  •   Never lend your card. And don't leave your cards, statements and receipts laying around your home, car or office.
  •   Never sign a blank charge slip. Draw lines through blank spaces on charge slips above the total so the amount can't be changed.
  •   Use caution when ordering online or over the phone. Always be cautious about disclosing your account number on the telephone or online unless you know the person you're dealing with represents a reputable company.

Read more from the Better Business Bureau here.

 


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