Friday, May 20, 2016

Fraud Protection Fraud

I had an interesting experience last evening. I received a call from the fraud protection department of one of the credit companies I do business with. Apparently some of my purchases set off their fraud protection program and they were calling to verify some of the charges on my bill.

Although this is not the first time that this has happened--usually I receive the call there is real fraud involved and it is an indication that my credit card has been compromised, my experience last night was different.

The answering machine contained theca form the fraud alert center. I debated returning it; however, I knew that if the call were genuine I would not be able to use my card when I wanted it.

My problem was simply--how do I verify that the call is not a fraudulent call?

As I dialed the phone and the classic voice in using broken english answered, my trepidation grew. Then the questions and the exchange of information. 

Still, how do I verify that the fraud center that I am calling is not fraudulent? 

The person on the other end of the phone offered to connect me with customer service, give me a number to call back, and other inadequate means of verification. Each of those ideas represent a potential fraud avenue.

As it turned out, after a few tense minutes on the phone, I felt that the information they were asking for was publicly available and gave it to the person who then asked me about three charges legitimate charges.

But the question remains, how can I protect myself from fraud protection fraud? 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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