HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane alerts Pennsylvania consumers to be aware of and ready for a recent phone scam that has been very active in the commonwealth involving phone calls regarding a phoney "hold" on the consumer's credit or debit card account.
In the last few weeks, the attorney general's Bureau of Consumer Protection has received similar complaints from multiple consumers regarding this scam.
The scam consists of an automated call from a toll-free number telling consumers a hold has been placed on their credit or debit card accounts. If the consumers believe it is their card, they are asked to press "1" and then asked to enter the credit card number to proceed. Credit card companies will not ask consumers to give their information this way.
These scam artists will also leave messages with a number to call back. The call's recording asks the consumer if they do not have the certain credit card mentioned to have a family member call back instead.
Kane warns consumers not to fall for this scam. If a consumer is concerned about a card, he or she should hang up and call the number on the back of the card instead.
Consumers can also take the following steps to avoid become a victim of this or other phone scams:
Never give out personal information over the telephone.
Never give out billing information over the phone, especially if you receive an unsolicited telephone call from a stranger.
Never wire money or purchase green dot-type prepaid cash cards in response to a telephone appeal, whether it is from a stranger or someone who claims to know you.
Never let emotion or fear overcome your common sense. If you get a call for money from a friend or relative, slow down and verify everything. Don't let anyone rush you.
Never give out sensitive information to anyone on the phone unless you initiated the call to a company you are certain is legitimate.
Never forget that you are in control. You can always hang up, find a company's number and call it directly.
Consumers can file complaints regarding these or other scams by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection's toll-free helpline number at (800) 441-2555 or online at www.attorneygeneral.gov.