Scam alert: Watch for $9.84 charges

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SAN DIEGO – If there is anytime when consumers need to be diligent about checking their credit card statements, it is now.

Credit Card FraudThe Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a suspicious charge showing up on many credit card bills.  But, they say, it is often going unnoticed.

“I have a lot of small charges on my credit card,” said Cinzia Anderson, a San Diego consumer.  “But I haven’t checked if those small charges were made by me or not,”

But with recent credit card security breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus, and Micheal’s, many consumers have begun to pay closer attention to their credit card bills.

“I check my credit card bill online about every three days,” said Rusty Kuehl, another San Diego Consumer, “especially since the Target incident happened.”

The Better Business Bureau said now that consumers are scrutinizing their bills, many are discovering small charges that they did not authorize.

“We see con artists charging lots of credit cards small sums hoping consumers will not notice the charge,” said Sheryl Reichert, President and CEO of the San Diego BBB.

The bureau said many of those suspicious charges are for the same dollar amount.

“We’ve been seeing a charge for $9.84 and it’s credited to a website,” said Reichert.

When victims call the customer support number listed on the website they are told the charge will be removed, but that is not what happens.  Instead, the BBB said, it is likely your card will be abused again.

“It could be a larger sum of money next time around,” said Reichert.  “It means your credit card number is in somebody’s hands that you don’t want it to be in.”

The BBB recommends you check your credit card statements closely every month and report any questionable charges, even if they are small.

Anderson said from now on she definitely will.

” It doesn’t matter if it’s two bucks or 20 bucks,” she said, “if they do it everyday or even once a month, it adds up.”

The BBB said it does not think this scam is connected to the recent security breaches because it predates the Target incident.

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