I received a suspicious email from my credit card company yesterday almost immediately followed by a call from a person who, in the first breath, asked me for my social security number!!! Make sure you don’t fall for this!
First I got an email from my credit card company (or so it appeared) saying there were suspicious charges on my account, with a phone number to call to confirm. I was skeptical of the email right off the bat because when I opened the card I set up email alerts for purchases over a certain amount. (Basically, when a big purchase is made they email me.) I had not received that “big purchase” email alert.
logged in to check my most recent transactions. Everything looked okay, aside from a restaurant that added $2 to my bill without permission. I filed the email and went back to work.
About five minutes later I got a call from a woman who said she was from my credit card company and needed my social security number to verify fraudulent charges.
“I would never give out that information over the phone so I’m assuming this is a fraudulent call. Never call this number again.”
And I hung up. Scary!
This means someone has my phone number, knows which company I have a credit card with, and has my email address. The first and last two pieces of information are not particularly exclusive. However, I don’t believe I have shared the name of my credit card company. I’m absolutely going to freeze my credit, request a free copy of my credit report to check for errors, and consider taking additional steps to prevent identity theft.
Remember, never give out personal information over the phone unless you are absolutely sure of who you are talking to. Be skeptical of who people say they are!
UPDATE: It turns out this email was real!