DENVER — The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about scammers using fake customer service numbers to fool consumers into sharing credit card numbers and other information.
According to a press release, scammers have been purchasing telephone numbers that are similar to companies’ legitimate customer service numbers and prompting callers to enter account numbers and other sensitive data. A consumer who misdials the correct customer service phone number may instead be connected to a line purchased by scammers.
Another tactic scammers use is to buy advertising space on search engines, which can list the illegitimate phone number at the top of search results – ahead of the real customer service line, the press release said.
The BBB offered the following tips to help consumers ensure the customer service lines they call are legitimate:
- Be wary of phone numbers in search ads. Frequently, the slots at the top and sides of search results are for sale. This means scammers can buy these spaces and use them to promote fake phone numbers.
- Find the customer service number on your card. That is always your best first option for reaching your card issuer.
- Look for the company’s official website. If you don’t have your credit/debit card handy, be sure to look on the official website.
- Try other ways to contact the company. If you can’t find an official customer service phone number, try contacting the company by other means, such as email or a live chat.