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Credit Card Company Message

How the scam works:

You get an email that seems to be from your credit card company with the following message:

“Dear MasterCard Member, under the User Agreement, Section 9, MasterCard may immediately issue a warning, temporarily suspend, indefinitely suspend or terminate your credit card and refuse to provide our services if we believe that your actions may cause financial loss or legal liability for you, our users or our company. The terms and conditions of your card state that your card must always be in the control of you or those you designate to have control. We have noticed some unusual activity on your card that indicates other parties may have access to and/or control of your credit card."

The email goes on to tell you that you won't be able to use your credit card online unless you create a "Secure Code." It tells you, “MasterCard SecureCode enhances your current MasterCard account with a secret code to protect against unauthorized use of your card when you shop at participating merchants. To restore your Credit Card status click the link below.”

Of course, the link won't take you to the MasterCard website, but it will take you to one that looks just like it. And, if you type in your information, it will then take your banking information. Needless to say, your card will be maxed out by the scammers in no time unless you cancel it.

How to avoid:

Anything you receive from a financial organization will never refer to you as “Dear Member.” Official documents are always personal and will have personalized information. Secondly, most institutions will prefer to call you, rather than email. Personal information is rarely discussed over email, unless you set it up that way.

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