We want you to be aware of a scam that is on the rise. Unsuspecting victims are being tricked into using their credit cards to make purchases for fraudsters who claim they will repay them.
The basic nuts and bolts of this scam
- This is a trust-building scam that preys on someone's desire to reduce credit card debt.
- You receive an offer to pay off some or all of your credit card balance. This might be presented by a new friend, romantic partner (see romance scams) or business partner.
- They may pay off a balance or part of it. This is an investment by the scammer to gain your trust.
- At some time in the near future, they will ask for a favor. They want you to purchase items for them using your credit card, saying they will reimburse you. These are typically high-end electronics and gift cards.
- The use other stolen cards to put money in your account to "reimburse" you for the purchases.
- The other stolen cards' financial institutions will reclaim all the deposited funds, and you are left holding the bag.
So, how do you spot these disappearing money scams and protect yourself and others? Well, education can certainly help.