BBB warning: $9.84 credit card charge could be fraud

Posted at: 01/29/2014 11:19 PM
By: Lynette Adams

The Better Business Bureau is warning credit and debit card owners Wednesday night. The Bureau says some people have noticed fraudulent charges on their statements, totaling no more than $10.

The BBB is busy staying on top of the many fraudulent schemes and warning consumers. This latest one is referred to as 984, because that's the amount the Better Business Bureau says the thieves initially steal from your bank account, $9.84.

“I know it's a numbers game and I know that these credit cards are collected en masse and it had nothing to do with me, but it's frustrating that we don't do more to secure this data. I think that needs to be done,” said Peter Kline.

Kline says it happened to him. He noticed a small charge on his credit card statement. It was connected to a dating service in Cypress. It was such a small amount, he says it could have easily been missed.

But Kline says he regularly checks his numbers. That's one of the keys to stopping thieves dead in their tracks.

A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau tells us that first $9.84 is a test amount. If the thieves can get away with that amount, she says they will continue to siphon money from your account. She says if you see the amount on your credit or debit card statement, call your credit card company or bank immediately. Do not contact the website listed on your statement. The BBB says this is a phony website.

Spokesperson Peggy Penders says the thieves count on most people not challenging or even noticing a small amount.

“You should be checking your statement on a regular basis, and by regular we advise once a week so you're keeping an eye on what that activity is. The faster you find the fraudulent charge, the better off you are to prevent a disastrous identity situation down the line,” said Penders.

“If you swipe your card in a restaurant, the restaurant might even not know the data is being stolen, so the only way to protect yourself is to keep an eye on things pretty regularly. Never hand your card to a stranger," said Kline.

Penders says this scheme is nationwide and there is speculation it is connected to some of the recent data breaches.
News10NBC asked if in these cases you can you get your money back. The answer is possibly.

Kline's bank did refund his money. Many credit card companies and banks will refund your money and go after the thieves, but it could depend on a number of factors, like the amount. Penders says few of these cases are ever solved.