Fraudulent phone calls to lines of credit steal credit card information with convincing records to look like banks


CHICAGO (WLS) – Scammers are focusing on vulnerable consumers who need cash during the COVID-19 pandemic with fake calls that appear to be from legitimate banks.

Calls begin with a recorded greeting that is stolen from a real bank. Then a live agent joins you, offering you a line of credit at a lower interest rate. But there is a catch, even if the offer may seem tempting.

Before you get the supposed new line of credit, the caller asks you for your current credit card number, its expiration date, and the three-digit CVV code on the back of the card.

“This is one of the many scams that we are starting to see regarding the financial impact of the pandemic, I mean, given that there are a lot of people out of work,” said Todd Kossow, director of the pandemic. Federal Trade Commission. Chicago Midwestern Regional Office. “Maybe behind on their, their credit card, their debt or their mortgage. We see a lot of bank impersonation calls like this.”

“We’ve had thousands of complaints like this. And they’re, you know, where, where someone is impersonating your bank, you know, and they could offer a whole bunch of different things, like I said. I said, credit card interest. interest rates on your credit cards. Other to help you with your mortgage, increasing lines of credit, existing customer credit, and low mortgage rates. ‘interest,’ Kossow added.

Kossow said people can be tricked because the number can be spoofed to make it look like it’s from your bank, or they can use a recorded greeting similar to the one used by your bank.

So what should you do if you need financial help?

“Talk to your creditors. You know, if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or having trouble paying off your credit card or other debts, you know, talk to the holder of that debt,” Kossow advised. . “And many of them have given you known tolerance during the pandemic. But, but, talk to them directly and call your mortgage company or your bank on a number you know is correct.”

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from your bank or any other bank, hang up. You can report the phone number and the incident to the FTC. The agency has a new fraud link to report scams like that.

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