With all the stories of major retailers losing millions of credit card account numbers, you are probably scouring your monthly bills looking for fraudulent charges like a $1700 plane ticket or $1000 television you did not buy. That is a big mistake. Hackers are now using smaller transactions to garner money from hacked accounts.
This is a common way hackers commit fraud, and they can easily get away with it. Through the years, they have found it is much easier to steal a little money from a lot of people, rather than a lot of money from a few people. For example, it is much easier to sneak a $10 charge on 100,000 cards than a $100,000 charge onto 10 cards, and in the end, the hackers end up with the same amount.
Large charges for electronics or airfare stick out like a sore thumb on a credit card bill. Busy consumers are much less likely to spot a small charge, or they might even decide a tiny fraud is not worth the phone call to get it removed and to face the hassle of getting a new card.
The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about this type of fraud in late January after reports surfaced of a series of $9.84 charges finding their way onto customer credit cards. Customers who visit the website listed next to the charge see a curious page that offers customer support, the BBB says.
“The text promises to ‘refund 100 percent of your last payment,’ and provides a phone number and email address,” said the BBB in a statement. “Victims report calling the ‘customer support’ site and receiving verbal confirmation that the charge would be canceled”. However, do not take the scammers at their word. Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your card information has been compromised, and it is likely scammers will be back for more.”
Every credit card holder needs to check their statements, regardless if they have shopped at a store that was recently hacked. Statements need to be checked not only for large mystery transactions but also for small, minuscule amounts that do not disappear within a few days. By checking your statements you are sure to help stop any hacking that may occur on your account.
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