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Don't Fall for Fake Customer Service Numbers

Next time you call the customer service department of your credit or debit card, be sure to double check the number. Scammers are purchasing phone numbers similar to those of customer service lines and fooling card holders into sharing account information.

Next time you call the customer service department of your credit or debit card, be sure to double check the number. Scammers are purchasing phone numbers similar to those of customer service lines and fooling card holders into sharing account information.

How the Scam Works: 

You have an issue with your credit card, so you search online for the card issuer's phone number. You dial the number at the top of the search results and get a recorded message. It prompts you to enter your credit card number and other information. 

Don't fall for it! Scammers are purchasing toll free numbers and promoting them though search ads and fraudulent websites. In a hurry, consumers simply dial the first number, not realizing it's an ad placed by scammers. 

In other cases, scammers purchase numbers very similar to the real customer support line and prey on customers who misdial. This scam is not limited to credit cards; con artists are also pulling this trick with popular retail brands, as well. 

How to avoid fake phone numbers: 

  • Be wary of phone numbers in search ads. Frequently, the slots at the top and sides of search results are for sale. This means scammers can buy these spaces and use them to promote fake phone numbers. 
  • Find the customer service number on your card. That is always your best first option for reaching your card issuer. 
  • Look for the company's official website. If you don't have your credit/debit card handy, be sure to look on the official website.
  • Try other ways to contact the company. If you can't find an official customer service phone number, try contacting the company by other means, such as email or a live chat. 

For More Information

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). To learn more about this scam, check out this recent alert from the Federal Trade Commission. 

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The BBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers in the U.S. and Canada, instilling consumer confidence and contributing to a trustworthy marketplace for all.