A recent report by a leading investigative reporter has revealed that there has been a recent resurrection of the old telemarketing scams thanks to inexpensive online phone services and stolen cellphone accounts.
Consumers are receiving calls from someone posing as a customer services staff member from their banks offering them a low interest rate on a new credit card.
If consumers are taken in by the caller they may well provide criminals with sufficient information to steal their identity.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center say that there are increasing numbers of cases of telemarketing scams lately where the perpetrator impersonates credit card issuers, traffic ticket collection agencies, and even the Federal Trade Commission in order to pick up account details and personal information from individuals.
The Better Business Bureau has published some advice for consumers who are concerned about becoming a victim of credit card fraud and telemarketing scams.
- Contact Your Card Issuer – Federal law limits consumers liability for fraudulent transactions to $50, and many of the top credit cards offer zero liability to customers. However, the same protection is not extended to debit card users who could find themselves responsible for up to $500 if they do not alert the bank quickly. So it is important to report your fears as soon as possible.
- Contact The Authorities – When you file a report with the local law enforcement agency, you are protecting yourself from becoming responsible for any future fraudulent transactions. You cannot be held responsible for any charges made after you report that your card has been stolen.
- Contact Credit Reporting Bureaus – Credit Bureaus are able to stall or even block applications for new credit in your name if you let them know that your identity has been stolen.
- Stay Vigilant – Consumers must be vigilant of their accounts and use online transaction alerts where offered. It is also important to review account statements and bills carefully for any transactions which are not expected. This is the best way to catch fraud or tampering.
Law enforcement agencies and other sources within the finance industry estimate that the average amount of money stolen in the average identity theft incident is under $100. However, it is important that individuals and banks alike continue to invest time and money in preventing these types of crimes from occurring.