How the scam works:
You’ve probably owned a few credit cards and know exactly how different they look, depending on the brand. One day, you and your friends are in a restaurant or lounge you’ve never been in before. At the end, you pay the bill with your credit card. It was a good night and the waiter comes with the receipt for you to sign.
Calculating how much tip you should leave, while still chatting with your buddies, you put your card back into your wallet and sign the bill.
Next day when you try to use the card again, it is refused and you notice that, although it is the same brand and looks the same, it is not your card. When you telephone your card company, you discover the maximum has been spent on your card since the night before.
The scammer – who only worked at the restaurant until he found a victim – has a big collection of cancelled or declined credit cards and waits for someone who gives him an identical brand card. He switched yours with an old one, knowing that people don’t look carefully when they get the familiar-looking card back, and has maxed it out right away.
If you did happen to notice or if you noticed later and came back to the restaurant before he skipped off, he would just apologize and say it got mixed with another customer’s.
How to avoid:
When it comes to paying for something with your credit card, always check the card when it is returned to you before putting it in your wallet to make sure your name is on it.
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