by Heather Wagenhals
Right now I just personally received a phishing scam phone call for Barclay Bank. The phone number that called me was 1-866-467-4704. An automated attendant told me that a possible fraud alert and hold was happening on my account and that I needed to immediately enter my card number or press 1 for more time to get the card. Since I know better I immediately thought to myself, ” Hmmm. You called me buddy, you should already have that information.”
Knowing that most all credit card companies will not openly solicit you for your card number when initiating a fraud verification attempt, I quickly hung up and got out my card. Sure enough, the phone number that called me was not even close to the phone number on the back of my card or listed on their website.
I immediately called the number I knew to be a trusted contact information and the customer service woman confirmed my account was AOK and there was no fraud attempt, fraud verification, nor fraud hold placed on my account. She immediately asked if I gave out my card number as many folks who did when this started on Friday from 877 toll free numbers had to close their accounts and have new cards reissued as they had compromised their accounts.
To avoid falling for an accidental phishing scam take the following steps when receiving one of these calls:
1. Whether automated attendant or human being on the phone, decline to offer any information, just thank them for the call and get off the phone.
2. Confirm that your credit card is in your possession.
3. Immediately call the number on the back of the card. Report to them what specifically transpired and confirm that no activity has occurred on your account without your knowledge.
4. Give them as many details as possible such as name and customer service number if a live person, caller ID phone number if available, and specifically what they asked you to do. (In my efforts to retrieve the number without my glasses on, I accidentally conference called them in so the customer service professional heard everything and was shocked!)
5. Always remember to be courteous and never give your information out over the phone on a call you did not initiate.
Taking these steps will help to reduce your exposure to credit card fraud. If we do not take resonsibility and be proactive, in the end, it raises all of our costs as the banks pass this on in the form of higher interest rates to overcome the amount of fraud its consumers experience.