If you suddenly receive bills running up to $1000 on your calling card bill and your account statement shows calls made to foreign countries that you neither do business with nor have any contact with, chances are, you have just been scammed. Calling card scams were on the increase worldwide for a long time and users have to know how to detect such frauds. Luckily, new legislation and increased user awareness has seen a decline in fraud.
Globalization, technological advancements, and higher immigration rates have all increased the need for international communication. Calling cards have proven to be cost-efficient, flexible, and easy to manage. And their ever-rising popularity has also attracted the wrong kind of attention. Scammers have increasingly invaded the calling card market. There are individual scammers who call you for your information and those who eavesdrop as you make your calls. Then there are the technologically advanced networks who work together to steal call card information and operate call-sell services to unsuspecting consumers.
The simplest form of calling card scam is whereby someone eavesdrops or watches over your shoulder as you submit your details to an operator over the phone. The eavesdropper then memorizes the information to later use for making his/her own personal calls. Although this kind of scammer usually works alone, sometimes they work in groups to re-sell your information. The networks usually use advanced devices such as cameras, scanning devices, and facades.
If you see someone paying too much attention to your activities at a public phone, you have probably detected an eavesdropper. Use lower tones and use your body to cover the keypad as you dial in your 14-digit code and 3 or 4-digit PIN.
There are occasions when a phone service provider will call you as part of their customer service operations. However, none of them ever ask for your codes and PIN because they already have it in their systems and records. If you receive any such call from a purported customer care representative, tell them you will call back with the information required and hang up. Call the customer care number written on the card, on their website, or listed in the telephone directory. Do not use the customer care number supplied by the caller.
There are technologically advanced fraudsters who find ways to access calling card codes directly from the calling card company servers and other directories. Some also bribe unscrupulous employees to steal the data for them. Although most calling card firms have taken great measures to safeguard against data thefts, such criminal incidences may still occur.
For consumers, the best way to detect fraud is to closely monitor their calling card statements and usage. If you notice any high charges on your card, investigate it immediately. If the charges were charged to your card without your authorization, immediately notify your calling card supplier.
Sometimes the calling card companies themselves are the scammers or fraudsters. What they do is that they may advertize 30-minute cards for a certain fee but once you purchase it and start calling, you get only 15 minutes of talk time. Apart from that, some of these companies levy many hidden charges that are either not displayed or are displayed in very small print at the back of the card. Such fees may include hung up fees and other junk fees, connections fees on phone calls that don’t go through, calling rates that increase without warning, activation fees, maintenance fees, cards that expire within a short period, or cards that bill the user in increasing rates.
Summary of the Post:
Calling card fraud is easy to detect if you know what to look for. Every calling card user should be vigilant on the charges that appear on their calling card statements. If you get scammed, report to the authorities and make your fellow users aware of the problem through forums.
Author Bio: The Article has been written by Jon from Ezcalls, The customer care team of Ezcalls is always looking out for concerns raised by our clients and our competitors’ clients. Although calling card fraud is now on the decrease, largely due to increased user awareness, both service providers and consumers can never be too careful or relaxed.