Compromised Credit Card

Compromised Credit Card: How The Scam Works

What would you do if you received a call on your home telephone from the police, stating that they had apprehended a gang of youths that were in possession of stolen credit card information and that yours was among them? Then the police advise you to call the fraud department of your credit card company immediately and report the information to them so they can protect your card from any fraudulent charges that may have been made?

You, like anyone else, would most likely make the call to your credit card company as quickly as possible to avoid a costly and detrimental-to-your-credit situation. However, finding out if the information is true first is a good step to take, as many are discovering, albeit too late.

The compromised credit card scam works this way: the scammers call your home – always your landline telephone – identifying themselves as the local police department. They advise you to handle the situation through your credit card company as quickly as possible. Once you have hung up the phone, gotten the number from the back of your card and dialed, you immediately get through to a “representative” who will ask you lots of pointed questions about your credit card account, including your number, expiration date and CV code.

Unfortunately, what happened was the scammers haven’t hung up the phone from their call, and the people you are speaking with are the same people who claimed to be the police. Now that they have your credit card information, they are free to charge you to your limit. How was that possible? Anytime somebody initiating a call doesn’t hang up, the person at the other end could not make a phone call. If they don’t pay attention to see if they have a tone and dial right away, victims just get their credit cards maxed in a few minutes.

This scam is very similar to the Collection Call: Phone Bill scam, where a scammer claiming to be a representative from your phone line provider informs you didn’t pay your last invoice and will interrupt your service if you don’t transfer funds right away. After hanging up and seeing they’re not getting a dial tone, victims believe it and pay in a couple of minutes, when scammers call back.

A second variation of the compromised card scam is coming via telephone as well, but the callers claim to be from the bank. After they inform you that your card has been compromised they ask you to ‘press 1’ to go through the ‘process of cancellation’.

How to avoid:

If you receive a call from “the police department” on your landline phone regarding a credit card scam, tell them that you will call them back. Hang up, wait for the tone, or call the police from your cell phone and verify that they just contacted you; often you will find that they know nothing about your credit card being compromised. Taking this one vital step can save you thousands of dollars as well as countless hours trying to sort out the situation with your actual credit card company.

How to report:

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report Scammers To The Federal Trade Commission Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You’ll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSelma is a fraud prevention specialist renowned for her expertise in private eye investigations and a remarkable partnership with law enforcement agencies. Beyond her investigative triumphs, her public speaking engagements and written works have empowered countless individuals to protect themselves and stay ahead of deceptive schemes. Selma's legacy shines as a tenacious agent of change, unyielding in her commitment to battling fraud and ensuring a safer world for all.

4 thoughts on “Compromised Credit Card”

  1. Let’s file a "Class Lawsuit" about these telemarketers!!!
    It is easy enough to get their return number and identification.
    If they call me again, I am going to file.
    I have told this to them, and now, they have no return telephone, and it rings with your name & telephone number –so you are unable to call them back!!!! It just rings your number!
    They STILL CAN GET SUED as I already have this info.

  2. re Peg’s comments above. They will have thanked you for not wasting their time. You allowed them to get on to the next mug.

    What I would have done was to play along with them… I would have said "Oh yes it’s OK I purchased the tickets" and if she then asked for my card number I would have made up a 16 digit number. If she then said that it was not a valid number I would have said, "Oh I must get my spectacles" and I would have poured out a cup of team while she hung on. On my return to the ‘phone I could have said "Oh that was the wrong card" and given her a completely different number OR have changed a couple of digits in the original number and so on, and on and on

  3. This happened to me yesterday!! Luckily, I started to ask a lot of questions and I smelled something fishy. I hanged up. Glad I checked here!!

  4. Today I received a call from a foreign sounding woman who wanted to tell me that airline tickets had been purchased with my credit card and she wanted to verify that I had purchased the tickets. Right away I suspected a scam because I have no credit cards. I asked her the destination of the flight and she said "from Texas to Europe,and I just want to tell you that the tickets were purchased with your credit card and I need to verify…" I cut her off by telling her I had no credit cards so it was not possible for someone to use my credit card. She just hung up.

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