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Watch Out Wednesday: Small charge scams

Posted at 7:19 AM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 12:23:38-04

GREEN COUNTRY — Have you ever noticed a tiny charge on your credit or debit card account, and didn't think anything of it?

Security experts say you should—- it could break the bank.

When it comes to your money these days, you can't be too careful. Keep a close eye on your credit and debit card accounts. Be on guard for seemingly small, insignificant charges.

2 News Problem Solvers learned of one example: a charge for $25 on one victim’s credit card, but it's a fraudulent charge. Sometimes, the charges could be for a dollar, or two, or three.

"This is a scam,” says Colleen Tressler with the Federal Trade Commission.

Experts say after crooks hack you, get a hold of your account number, and they'll test it, by making those "small change" type charges. If it goes through, they pounce, and make much larger charges, leaving you holding the bag.

"The important thing to do if something happens to you is contact your financial institution, your credit card issuer right away. make sure you lock down those accounts,” says Tressler.

In the case of that scam $25 charge, the credit card company reversed it and opened a fraud investigation, to try to find out who made the charge. Then, they closed the account, and sent the victim new cards, with a new account number.

It can be a hassle, but much better, security experts say, than a huge financial headache, if you don't take action immediately.

While credit cards offer added protection from fraud, debit cards don't, making it even more important to keep those accounts.

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