Is It a Credit Card Company or a Scam?

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Someone could contact you about problems with your bank account. It could be real, it could be a scam.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt talked with local banks to find out the difference.

Banks say there are companies out there that are watching your accounts for fraudulent activity. Your financial institutions know about them, but if they contact you, they shouldn't ask you for personal information. They already have it.

We talked to one woman who took the safe road so she wasn't sorry later on.

Susan Thompson got a call on Sunday morning she wasn't expecting.

"It's a voice activated, automated phone call, not a human being, they said my name, my husband's name, my bank, the type of card, credit card I have and said there had been recent activity on it, and they needed to verify the activity was legitimate," Thompson said.

But to verify, she says they needed her social security number.

"At 8:50 in the morning, nobody needs that information, and I hung up," Thompson said.

They called again at 2:30.

"It sounded very real, and it sounded intimidating in that something bad with your credit has happened and we need to know immediately to stop whatever this action is," Thompson said.

Thompson says at first, the calls worried her.

"You get this vision of someone traipsing across the country, charging hotel rooms, and phone calls, and dinners and $5,000 TV's," Thompson said.

Again, she says they asked for her social security number, something the bank says should never happen.

"That's not something that any true representative, either your financial institution, Visa, MasterCard, Discover any of those credit card companies would ever do," K-25 senior branch manager Suzie Warren said.

Suzie Warren with K-25 Federal Credit Union says there are companies that monitor your card activity. They could call on Saturdays and Sundays, but they should only ask.

"Did you do this transaction?" Warren said.

She says they make sure you're the one making charges, but because Thompson was suspicious, Warren says she did the right thing by hanging up.

"If you are concerned, the best thing to do is hang up, call your credit card issuer or call your banking institution," Warren said.

Thompson's call could have been a scam, it also could've been real.
Here's what you need to look out for: The caller should never ask for any personal information. They should already have it.

The caller should be a live person, not automated like the call Ms. Thompson received.

If this happens to you, call your financial institution as soon as you can, and watch monthly statements from your credit and checking accounts.
And again, banks stress that if you have any concerns, just hang up and contact your bank.


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