If you don’t usually keep close tabs on your credit card statement, you may want to start monitoring your account for any suspicious small charges.
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers that scammers are charging credit cards for small amounts of money, with several victims recently being charged $9.84, reports USA Today. The scam hasn’t been connected to the major information breach of over 100 million Target customers. But the bureau encourages customers to be aware of any questionable purchases charged to cards, since scammers usually don’t think cardholders will look into charges of such little amounts.
According to Brain Krebs, who first broke news of the major Target data breach on his blog krebsonsecurity.com – the $9.84 scam was occurring before the Target incident. He has been monitoring the scam closely, but says more consumers are now uncovering the fraudulent charges due to more cardholders taking time to closely review their statements. Krebs added that the scam appears to have peaked around the holidays and that anyone who discovers a fraudulent $9.84 should get a new credit card.
"It's a good bet that your card is in the hands of crooks, and is likely to be abused like this again," he told USA Today.
The bureau says that the source listed on victims’ credit card bills leads to a generic landing page that offers “Customer Support.” The site promises consumers a full refund of the last payment, a phone number and e-mail address. The bureau added that numerous victims report calling the number and being told verbally that the charge would be reversed. But the Bureau says not to “take the scammers at their word.”
According to Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at Credit.com, the most important step you can take is to dispute any fraudulent charge with your credit card company immediately. Since the scammers could be “testing” to see if the initial charge is noticed by the card owner, she says that even larger charges could possibly occur later on.
Over 740 million personal records were breached in 2013, reports USA Today. One of the most notable of the year was the attack on several million Target customers' information during the holidays. When news of the breach first broke in December, the number of Target customers affected by the data breach was said to be 40 million. But updated reports from the retailer in January revealed that the number of customers hit in the attack was actually between at least 70 million to 110 million.