PA Attorney General: Beware of credit, debit card phone scams

Phone scam alert

If you have a phone -- and a credit or debit card -- the Pennsylvania Attorney General is warning about a new scam.

Innocent victims are getting automated calls from scammers claiming that a hold has been placed on their credit or debit card.

"And if the consumer believes that it is their card, they'll be asked to press one and then it'll ask them to enter their credit card information before they can talk to someone in customer service," said J.J. Abbott, an attorney general spokesman.

Abbott said real credit card companies will never ask you to leave information this way.

Authorities said these calls come from toll-free phone numbers. Many of these scammers use spoofing software to conceal their real numbers.

"With more and more information being online, people's telephone numbers do get out more so it's just important to be educated and be proactive and protect your personal information as best you can," Abbott said.

Consumer authorities say..

- Never give out personal or billing information over the phone
- Never wire money or purchase green dot-type prepaid cash cards

"The big thing we want people to remember is that, don't get emotional or nervous, just remember that they're in control of their information and that they can always hang up and call the company directly," said Abbott.

This credit card scheme is just the latest phone scam we've seen. Recently PPL warned about scammers pretending to work for utilities.

"They are creative, you see all different sorts of phone scams from credit card to debt to taxes," said Abbott.

So the next time you pick up that phone, ask questions about who's on the other end.

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