Repeat after me:
I will never give my credit card number to anyone who calls me on the phone, even if they say they are from an organization I recognize.
Certainly, if YOU place the call, then you can feel fairly confident that you are providing your credit information to the appropriate party. However, if you are merely answering the phone, you cannot be sure who is calling. Even caller ID’s can be altered.
If your bank, cable TV company, college, company, favorite store, internet service provider, neighbor, or anyone else calls you for your credit card number . . .
1) Explain politely to the caller that you have a household policy of never providing your credit card number or other personal information to telephone callers.
2) Ask for a contact name, and call them back yourself. Do not call the phone number they provide. Instead, call the company’s main switchboard. (Look it up yourself to be sure.) Ask for the appropriate person. You may be surprised to discover that they have no such person employed in that organization.
3) If they will not accept this arrangement, ask the caller to send you something in writing (through traditional mail). If the caller claims an urgent deadline, then you may begin to smell something fishy.
4) If the caller claims to represent your bank, then you will want to contact the bank immediately. Your bank will surely already have your credit card information. If they can’t keep track of it internally, then you may wish to find a new bank!