HARRISBURG, Pa. -

There's yet another scam going around by thieves trying to access your credit card information.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Tuesday the latest scam involves a phony 'hold' on credit and debit card accounts.

"It is important that consumers be proactive and educated about scams like these that threaten their financial and personal security," Kane said. "You can protect yourself by staying calm and not rushing to act, which is exactly what these scammers hope you do."

Here's how it works:

The consumer receives an automated call from a toll-free number saying a hold has been placed on his or her credit or debit card account.

If the consumer believes it is his or her card, he or she is told to press "1," then enter the credit card number to proceed.

Kane said credit card companies will not ask customers to give their information this way.

The scam artists will also leave messages with a number to call back. The call's recording also asks the consumer if he or she doesn't have the certain credit card mentioned to have a family member call back instead.

Kane warns consumers not to fall for the scam.

If consumers are concerned about the status of their credit or debit card accounts, they should contact the number on the back of their card instead.

Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim of this or other phone scams:

  • Never give out personal information over the telephone.
  • Never give out billing information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger.
  • Never wire money or purchase green dot-type prepaid cash cards in response to a telephone appeal, whether it is from a stranger or someone who claims to know you.
  • Never let emotion or fear overcome your common sense. If you get a call for money from a friend or relative, slow down and verify everything. Don't let anyone rush you.
  • Never give out sensitive information to anyone on the phone unless you initiated the call to a company you are certain is legitimate.
  • Never forget that you are in control. You can always hang up, find a company's number and call it directly.

Consumers can file a complaint regarding these or other scams by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection's toll-free helpline number at 1-800-441-2555 or visit the attorney general's website.