An email, text or call comes in to the target claiming his or her credit card has been overcharged for some product or service. In order to be properly refunded, the target is informed they must follow steps that include revealing sensitive information.
How it Works
The alleged overcharge might appear connected to a product or service the scammer has already identified their target uses, but it’s much more likely for the scam to mimic a service that’s common—a popular streaming platform, like Netflix or Spotify—that random targets are more likely to be customers of.
If the alleged overcharge is for a product or service that the target never purchased or never uses, that may also seem like all the more reason to follow through with getting refunded. The scammer may directly solicit sensitive information to allegedly process a refund, or might direct the target to provide login credentials to a real account that can lead them to credit card information.
How to Spot it
While it’s always important to be extremely skeptical of any unexpected “cold call” asking for personal information, calls like these from companies that have never called before should receive particular scrutiny. No matter the method of contact, any claim that the matter must be settled immediately in order to be refunded or that this is the “last chance” to get a refund should also raise a red flag.
With emails, a good first step is to closely examine the sender’s email address…