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Scam of the Month: The Credit Card Scam

In May we took a look at one of the most popular phone scams plaguing the voice channel: the credit card scam. Whether it is a tap, a chip, or a swipe it seems like most transactions are handled through a credit card these days. We all need to get those points, right? The great ease and convenience of using a credit card can act as both a financial boon and a security concern.

We take our cards everywhere, we save them to our browsers, and we even connect them to our phones. There are numerous opportunities for a breach of privacy, so it is no wonder that these scammers have reached your call center. Tenacious fraudsters and bad actors will do whatever it takes to get your valuable information, even if it means trying to trick you over the phone.

Captured By Hiya Honeypot:

  • “Caller claimed he was with the fraud department of Merrick Bank, which is one of my credit card companies. They were calling from Georgia and when I told him I knew there were no Merrick Banks there and not to call me again, he ended up calling back 8 more times. This guy was scary.”

Popular Variants

Scammers take a variety of different avenues in an attempt to get to your credit card information. Just as there are numerous credit providers– Discover, MasterCard, Visa, etc– there are numerous strategies employed to trick innocent customers. These scams usually have had an overall goal of getting your credit card number to make fraudulent transactions. Even a simple call back can result in scammers holding you for a long time on a premium number. A popular method to be aware of is reports of shipping issues related to your card. Bad actors will call your number pretending to be associated with Amazon and claim there was an issue with your card and that they need your information to complete the transaction. These fraudsters will go so far as to impersonate debt relief programs just to get your information and put you further into debt. While not as popular as the Auto Warranty Scam or as prolific as the Eavesdropping Scam, this fraudulent act is still a threat. Credit card scams are elusive, and in some cases very convincing.

Some typical situations to be wary of:

  • Amazon package problems
  • Streaming service renewal issues
  • Unsolicited debt relief programs
  • Bank security problems
  • Credit card fraud department check-in


The peak popularity of this scam was actually at the end of April. There was a giant spike in spam calls collected by Hiya during this time. Out of the nearly half a billion scam calls that were collected, a striking 2.5% of these calls were flagged as the credit card scam. Besides this noticeable spike, the popularity and usage of this scam remain consistent.

Important Metrics

There are a few key metrics to keep in mind when investigating certain scams; call duration and pickup rate are incredibly important for establishing intent and providing protection. When the scammers can get through to their victims, the pickup rate generally sits around 20%. This means that one in five fraudulent calls are answered. When the fraudsters can connect, they typically can remain on the phone for up to five minutes. Even when a suspicious call goes unanswered, these committed scammers can stay on the line for up to a minute. When it comes to protecting your information, every second counts.

The Credit Card Scam can be one of the most elusive and frustrating phone scams to deal with. As these spoofed and fraudulent calls continue to rise, you will only continue to see cases rise with it. For more information on the various scams that could be plaguing your voice channel, be sure to schedule a Hiya Call Assessment.

How to Fight Back Against Scam Calls

Carriers can protect their customers from phone scams by adding Hiya Protect, which blocks or labels spam and scam calls with high accuracy, without blocking essential calls. It is used by phone carriers, mobile phone manufacturers, and network providers who are looking to create a differentiated voice offering and increase customer satisfaction.

Enterprises can help their customers feel safe answering the phone by adding Hiya Connect, which enables businesses to display their company name, logo, and reason for the call on the recipient’s mobile phone. Branded caller ID identifies who is calling so customers will not be afraid to answer their phones.

Individuals can check with their phone carrier to see if it offers spam/scam blocking capabilities. If not, ask your carrier to consider adding Hiya Protect.

Author Hiya Team

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