There a lot of scams going around that come under the heading of “Phishing” or other names. I have seen quite a few of them myself. Most of these are email scams. You will receive an email presumably coming from your bank or even from EBay or PayPal. The email will look very official and have the proper logo. One clue to watch for is misspellings. These folks create these elaborate official-looking emails and then have misspellings or atrocious English.
They will tell you that there is a problem with your account. They may claim that there has been some suspicious activity on your card. They will direct you to a site where they will elicit information from you about your card and your account. They thrive on fear. If you should get such an email, call your bank immediately to see if it is legitimate. Here’s a clue. Your bank doesn’t need to ask you for your credit card number or other information. They already have it.
The latest scam is a phone scam and it is much more clever and subtle. This caller claims to be your bank. He or she will not solicit information from you at first. In fact, they already have a lot of information about you. They will say your name and ask you to confirm it. They will give your credit number and ask you to confirm it. They may even know your address.
Here’s the scam. They will also claim there has been some unusual activity on your card and they are calling to make sure that you have your credit card in your possession. In order to prove that you have your card in your possession, they will ask for your three-number security code, usually on the back of your card. If they get this number from you, they can go on a buying spree all over the Internet on your nickel.
Here are some ways to protect yourself. Your bank will never call you and ask you for information about your card. They know your credit card number and they know your security code. If someone claims to be calling from your bank and they seem to be trying to elicit information from you, tell them you will call them right back and then call your bank using the bank’s number you have on your card. If you have caller ID, write down their number so you can give it to the police or a credit card fraud organization.