Check Your Bills For Mysterious Charges

Do you look carefully at the credit card bill you receive? I mean really take great care in looking at it for no mysterious charges appear? Criminals are hoping that you do not give it more than a cursory glance.

A handiwork work more often than not begins with them purchasing your credit card number on the black market and making a diminutive charge on it that more than likely would not leap out at you unless you were genuinely focused on every transaction you have made.

In any case, if you make use of your credit card a lot, a $2, $5 or even $10 charge can easily be overlooked. And bearing in mind how time and again these kinds of swindles come about, a lot of people do not take any notice.

Credit card numbers are stolen in big quantities. A number of the immense data violations you have been made aware of, concerned stealing credit card numbers. The worth of these card numbers are escalated once one of those mysterious charges goes through uncontested, said Yaron Samid, CEO of Billguard, a free of charge benefit that looks at your credit card usage to locate dubious charges.

In an effort to decelerate the stream of stolen cards, the FBI publicized that it had closed down 36 sites that were offering them. The sites function like any conventional eCommerce site, the FBI said, with the purchaser essentially placing stolen credit card numbers into an online shopping cart for procurement. Undercover agents acquired card numbers given out by banks incorporating Bank of America, Capital One and SunTrust, according to the FBI.

Countless lives are thrown into financial turmoil because of these websites,

said U.S. Attorney MacBride.

With a few simple clicks, thousands of stolen credit card numbers can be bought or sold to fraudsters anywhere in the world. Today’s seizures are part of an ongoing campaign to disrupt this online market regardless of where it operates.

To provide you with an impression of the extent of these offenses and how the criminals can be located anyplace, the study concerned law enforcement in nations that included the United Kingdom, Australia, Macedonia, Ukraine, and Romania.

Experts declare that these types of cons are thriving because even though consumers do observe the mysterious charges, they at times do not report them. “Some people won’t take the time to dispute a $5 charge,” Billguard’s Samid said.

As well as escalating the worth of a stolen credit card on the black market, criminals will also slap a card with a tiny fee and then pause. If it is not rejected then they will charge more. It is straightforward for a criminal to amass charges.

They do not have to purchase something; just generate the facade of being a business. “Anyone can open a merchant account today,” Samid said. “The names of the merchants sound legitimate.” The criminals might take on 50,000 cards at the same time with these charges, he said.

These fees can take place at any time and come from anywhere. As a matter of fact, I only just had one myself. An unknown transaction showed up on my credit card from BE2.ca, a Canadian website with an invoice address in Zurich, Switzerland. Happily, my bank’s cards security system noticed the deception. My credit card was then closed down and a brand new one had to be sent to me.

So do yourself a good turn and look at your bill and inspect your charges online frequently. Federal law safeguards you from paying for falsified payments, but you need to notice them to start with because your bank and the FBI are not going to stop them all.

5 Tips from VISA to Avoid Email Phishing Scams

During the recent National Consumer Protection Week, cards security professionals with Visa Inc. wanted to provide greater awareness to consumers regarding Email phishing scams.

Visa’s fraud researchers offered a statement to reporters and on their new, Visa-branded security website, on how to reduce financial loss and reduce the threat of identity theft through five basic steps.

1. Consider all email requests for personal or payment information to be suspicious

The credit card issuers already know all information related to a consumer’s account. They will not contact you via email for basic information such as names and personal data. They would also not use email for assistance in updating any information that may have been lost from their records database.

2. Be cautious about clicking on links in an unsolicited email that you receive

No matter how legitimate a link may appear in an email, the probability that it could re-route you to a secure looking bank website that is a rogue server is real. The best method when testing one of these links is to open a new browser window and type in the bank’s URL directly.

3. Check the legitimacy of any email inquiry requesting your personal or payment information by looking up the company’s phone number separately and calling to verify the request

As Email phishing scams artists get more advanced, they have learned how to copy, or pirate, real emails that come from the actual bank and credit card companies, altering the contact information with their own phone numbers and return addresses. If you have any questions regarding a request from your bank or credit card company sent via email, call the phone number listed on the back of your actual credit card.

4. Watch for typos and bad grammar. These are warning signals that an email may be fraudulent

Companies that issue credit cards employ marketing professionals with the experience to create customer service messages. The appearance of foreign spelling, unusual capitalization, and language that does not match a bank’s voice can signify an attempt to Email phishing scams.

5. Use spam blockers and keep your anti-virus software up to date

Spam filters and pop-up blockers are critical in identifying attempts at phishing email, then pulling them from inboxes before the user can access them. In addition, with these and up to date antivirus software, malware and potentially dangerous software will be unable to damage the users’ computers.

Credit Card Scammers Prey On Sleeping Hotel Guests

The most recent credit card theft scheme is a new twist on the usual telephone scams.

Thieves are attempting to catch cardholders off their guard while they are staying in a hotel by calling them in the middle of the night and posing as hotel staff.

The Better Business Bureau has already received numerous reports of fraudulent phone calls to guests in hotels across Sacramento with the callers claiming to be from the hotel’s front desk.

The thieves tell sleepy guests that the hotel computer system is down and they need to record their credit card number again in order to bill them for the room. Consumers nationwide are being warned to be on their guard in case the scam spreads across the country.

Like most fraudulent calls claiming to be from banks or credit card issuers, this particular request might make sense on the surface, especially if you have just been roused from a deep sleep. However, something just doesn’t add up and consumers must try to be on guard against such calls.

A large hotel will never lose credit card information due to a computer systems crash because all guest information, including billing details, is entered into the hotel chain’s networked system which is backed up across multiple hotels across the globe.

Hotel guests who receive unexpected calls requesting credit card information should tell the caller they are hanging up and will call the front desk back in a moment when they are fully awake and have located their card. That way the guest can be sure that they are speaking with a real hotel employee rather than a fraudster. This will foil the scammer’s attempts to obtain the consumer’s credit card information.

Credit card scammers are constantly coming up with new creative ways to steal credit card details and other pieces of personal information which can be used to steal consumers’ identities or use credit cards and bank accounts fraudulently.

The majority of credit card issuers do offer protection from fraud and will not hold consumers responsible for any purchases made fraudulently on their credit cards. However, consumers should still strive to protect themselves from this sort of crime so that fraud can be prevented.

The basic steps to protecting yourself against fraud include being aware of telephone, internet and real-world scams which can be used by thieves to gain access to consumers’ credit cards.

Temporary Credit Card Numbers Increase Online Security

In the wake of the recent Sony PlayStation Network security breach, consumers have a renewed interest in single-use credit card numbers.

A single-use credit card number, also known as disposable, secure, or virtual credit card numbers, acts as an alias for your credit card number.

The majority of major credit card issuers offer this service under various different names. Citibank refers to them as “virtual account numbers” and the service can be accessed by logging into your Citi account and following step by step instructions to generate a virtual account number for use when shopping online.

The temporary number can be used instead of your real credit card number in order to make the transaction more secure. Purchases will still show up on your monthly credit statement just like all regular purchases, but in the event of a cards security breach, thieves will not have access to your credit card details.

Every time you make a purchase online, you would log into your account and generate a totally new single-use credit card number. The numbers are all attached to your regular credit card account, but from a security point of view, a hacker targeting the merchant you have shopped with will only be able to access the temporary number and not your real credit card number. One drawback of temporary numbers is that the numbers expire, so if you are setting up a recurring payment you will need to update your payment information when the number expires.

The length of time that numbers are valid varies depending on the card issuer. Discover calls their temporary card numbers “secure account numbers” and they expire on the same date that your credit card does. While Bank of America calls their service “ShopSafe” and the temporary numbers issued are valid for one year.

American Express and Capital One do not currently offer temporary card numbers.

Chase Bank offers a similar service for commercial accounts but does not offer the service to consumers. However, Visa cardholders can use “Verified by Visa” which requires an additional password when paying for items.

On entering your credit card number, a Verified by Visa pop up window appears. You would then enter the requested information and password in order to verify your identity.

While using a temporary credit card number can increase cards security for online payments, it is still important to make sure you are using genuine sites and to keep an eye on your account statements for unusual transactions.