As much as we would like to think we are on top of our credit card bills, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us probably do not pay as much attention as we should. Sure we check our statement and see how much money we owe, but going line by line, purchase by purchase, is arduous and something we just don’t have time for.
While this likely is not a problem for most people, the lack of attention paid to our bills is something people try to take advantage of. That’s the idea behind one of the newest scams, which preys on our trusting nature when it comes to the credit card bill.
But this scam is different. It takes advantage of our nature not to sweat the small stuff. Let me explain,
Little payments add up over time
If you do take a look at your bill and notice something that doesn’t really add up, you may be a victim of the scam. What happens is once your card or number is stolen, the person who now has access to it creates accounts with services like Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Pandora or anything else that can be paid for via subscription.
None of them are particularly expensive, which is why the scam is so effective. It’s just a few bucks a month. No biggie!
While large bills catch our attention, smaller fees, charged on a month-to-month basis, tend to slip under the radar. It is even more likely if it’s a service you already pay for, perhaps with a different card, so when it shows up on the bill, does not even warrant a second look.
Those smaller fees certainly add up over time, and none of us actually want to pay for things we are not actually getting. But while small subscriptions are more a “death by a thousand papercuts” kind of issue, they could also be a precursor to something worse.
Turns out, the small stuff could just be a test run to see if it’s worth attempting some high-dollar purchases in the future.
That’s what makes this scam so tricky. Be sure to warn your family and friends about this one, too. It’s spreading like crazy.
How can you avoid being a victim?
Like most scams, there are ways to prevent yourself from getting involved. For this one, the best thing you can do is pay attention to your bills.
Is there something that you do not remember signing up for? Does the price of something seem a bit off? Did you think your Netflix was being paid for out of a different account?
If your answer to any of those questions is “Yes,” then it’s possible something may be amiss. At that point, you will treat this like any other credit card issue, contacting your provider and going through the steps to report fraud.
Is someone capturing your every keystroke? Maybe
Did you know that there are programs that exist solely to capture information coming from your keyboard? They’re called keystroke loggers, or keyloggers for short, and they can be nasty hacker tools to steal your information. Click here to learn about an app that will detect them.