SCAM ALERT: Thieves target credit cards

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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting on two dangerous scams circulating Michiana.

The first is a phone scam targeting credit card users. A caller will identify themselves as a representative from Visa or MasterCard with news about fraudulent transactions. The caller will claim the card has been flagged for "unusual use pattern."

Dreama Jensen of the BBB says the call is convincing in that the caller will not ask for much information. Instead, they will ask you to verify information they may already have like your address.

The red flag, according to Jensen, is when they ask for the security code on the back of the card to prove the card holder is still in possession of it.

"The scammer was after your three digit pin number on the back of the card and was very clever in getting it, not leaving you having to tell very much," said Jensen.

"The real Visa or MasterCard would never ask for anything on the card because they already have this information since they issued the card."

If you receive this call, Jensen says the best thing to do is tell the caller you will call back and hang up. If you are concerned about fraudulent activity, use the phone number on the back of the card, not the one provided over the phone.

In a second scam, Michiana residents have reported potentially dangerous pop-up ads on the computer. Jensen tells Newscenter 16 she experienced the scam first-hand.

While working on the computer, Jensen says a pop up ad appeared claiming her personal information was at risk. A message read, "Warning: your computer is infected, system detected two potentially malicious viruses."

The message instructs the user to call a tech support representative at the toll free number provided on the screen. Jensen was able to avoid a problem because she recognized the scam, but says she is wary of others who are not familiar with this practice.

"[I was] thinking [of] someone who gets this and isn't familiar with something like this will go ahead and click on it. That's when you get your viruses," said Jensen.

To report a scam, contact your local BBB. Click here for contact information.

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