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BBB warns consumers of credit-card ‘deactivation’ scam

If you get an urgent notice claiming that your credit or debit card has been deactivated, the Better Business Bureau has some important advice for you:

Ignore it.

On Friday, the BBB issued a scam alert in the wake of reports that consumers are being targeted by text message and phone in a scam aimed at stealing their credit-card numbers.

BBB LOGO 109-13“Watch out for automated phone calls and text messages that claim your card has been deactivated,” the alert reads. “It’s really an attempt to get you to share banking information.”

Once the scammers get your attention, they instruct you to call their “Customer Department.” If you do, the BBB says, you are placed on hold and an automated message asks you to enter your 16-digit credit-card number, an act that could come back to haunt you.


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If you ever have any questions about the legitimacy of such notices, the BBB advises you to call the phone number on the back of your card — not the number contained in the bogus message — to check on its status.

The BBB also suggests that you become familiar with your bank or credit-card company’s standard way of communicating with its customers. Anything that deviates from that could tip you off that it’s a scam.

To read the complete scam alert, click here.