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Financial Scams

After becoming a victim of credit card fraud and identity theft, Amanda shares how she resolved her credit chaos. Also, a Chesapeake, VA detective offers practical information in protecting yourself from becoming the next victim. Read Transcript


Reporter: AMANDA JANI

IS EXTREMELY THOROUGH WHEN

IT COMES TO KEEPING

FINANCIAL RECORDS, AND IT IS

NOT JUST BECAUSE SHE LOVES

TO CRUNCH NUMBERS.

INSTEAD, IT HAS BECOME ONE

OF HER MAIN DEFENCES AGAINST

IDENTITY THEFT.

SHE HAS FALLEN VICTIM TO

CREDIT CARD THREAT NOT JUST

ONCE, BUT THREE TIMES.

TWICE IN PERSON AND ONE ONLINE.

HER CREDIT REPORT HAD BEEN

SENT TO COLLECTIONS,

ACCOUNTS SHE NEVER OPENED.

A FEW YEARS AGO, I

NOTICED A COUPLE OF ITEMS ON

MY CREDIT REPORT THAT I WAS

COMPLETELY UNFAMILIAR WITH.

AS FAR AS I COULD REMEMBER,

I HAD NEVER EVEN USED

SERVICES FROM ANY OF THESE

COMPANIES, AND THEY WERE

SHOWING UP ON MY CREDIT

REPORT AS DELINQUENT,

UNPAID.

Reporter: AMANDA IS NOT

ALONE.

SHE IS ONE OF NINE MILLION

AMERICANS WHO FALL VICTIM TO

IDENTITY THEFT EACH YEAR.

IN AMANDA'S CASE, HER CREDIT

CARD NUMBER WERE YOU FIRST

STOLEN WHILE GRABBING A

PRETZEL AT THE MALL.

I NOTICED THAT THE

CASHIER WAS TAKING MY CARD

TO THE BACK TO RUN MY CARD,

INSTEAD OF RUNNING IT UP

FRONT.

HE SAID THE CARD MACHINE UP

FRONT WAS BROKEN.

THEY WERE HAVING TO USE THE

ONE IN THE BACK.

I DIDN'T THINK MUCH MORE

ABOUT IT.

UNTIL ABOUT TWO WEEKS LATER,

I SAW MY DEBIT CARD

STATEMENT, AND NOTICED THAT

EVERY TIME I HAD PURCHASED

LUNCH FOR ABOUT $4, $5 AND

SOME CHANGE, RIGHT AFTER

THAT PURCHASE, A $20

PURCHASE WAS MADE FROM THAT

SAME RESTAURANT.

Reporter: CHESAPEAKE

VIRGINIA DETECTIVE MICHAEL

PASHETTI INVESTIGATES

FINANCIAL FRAUD CASES AND

KNOWS THAT IDENTITY THIEVES

WILL PREY ON UNSUSPECTING

CONSUMERS AT EVERY TURN.

IT IS HARD TO PROTECT

YOURSELF IF YOU'VE GIVEN

THEM A CARD AND THEY WALKED

AWAY.

ARE THEY WRITING IT DOWN.

ARE THEY PUTTING A DOUBLE

CHARGE ON IT.

WE ALL KNOW ON THE BACK OF

THE CARD IS A SECURITY

CODE.

IF THEY WRITE DOWN YOUR

NUMBER AND THE SECURITY

CODE, THEY CAN ORDER THINGS

ON-LINE.

Reporter: IDENTITY

THIEVES HAVE TURNED MOST OF

THEIR ATTENTION ON-LINE.

SCAMMERS TRY TO GET YOU TO

REVEAL YOUR PERSONAL AND

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

THROUGH PHONY BUT

OFFICIAL-LOOKING WEBSITES.

THERE ARE GET RICH QUICK

CLAIMS, CHARITABLE SCAMS,

WORK AT HOME SCAMS, HEALTH

AND WEIGHT LOSS SCAMS, AND

FAKE NODECATIONS THAT APPEAR

TO BE FROM REPUTABLE BANKS,

COMPANIES OR THE

GOVERNMENT.

YOUR BANK IS NOT GOING TO

SEND YOU AN E-MAIL TO UPDATE

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY OR

ACCOUNT NUMBER.

THEY HAVE YOUR ACCOUNT

NUMBER.

SO YOU DON'T NEED TO UPDATE

IT.

PEOPLE WILL FALL FOR THIS

AND THEY WILL SEND THEM

THEIR DATE OF BIRTH, SOCIAL

SECURITY NUMBERS, AND THEY

WITHDRAW THE MONEY FROM

YOU'RE ACCOUNT ONCE THEY GET

THAT.

Reporter: LAST

CHRISTMAS AMANDA THOUGHT SHE

WAS PROTECTING HERSELF BY

PURCHASING FROM SECURE

WEBSITES.

WHEN A FRAUDULENT CHARGE

SHOWED UP ON HER CREDIT CARD

ACCOUNT, SHE TURNED TO THE

DETECTIVE FOR HELP.

THE DETECTIVE WENT

THROUGH MY CREDIT CARD

STATEMENTS WITH ME AND

CONTACTED THE BANK,

CONDUCTED AN INVESTIGATION,

AND IN JUST IN A MATTER OF

ABOUT TWO WEEKS FOUND

WHOEVER HAD USED MY CARD

ON-LINE ALSO HAD ALL OF

THOSE ITEMS SHIPLY DIRECTLY

TO THEIR DOOR.

Reporter: THE DETECTIVE

SAYS THAT CONSUMERS CAN

PROTECT THEMSELVES BY

FOLLOWING A FEW STEPS.

I SAY USE A CREDIT CARD,

NOT A DEBIT CARD, BECAUSE

THAT'S NOT YOUR ACTUAL MONEY

THAT IS GOING TO BE TAKEN,

AND YOU CAN START THE

INVESTIGATION.

MY ADVICE TO PEOPLE ALSO IS

IF YOU GET BILLS AND YOU'RE

DONE WITH THEM, IF YOU HAVE

STATEMENTS THAT COME IN AND

YOU DON'T WANT THEM, YOU

KNOW HOW YOU GET THE JUNK

MAIL THAT SAYS YOU'RE

PRE-APPROVED FOR THIS CREDIT

CARD, SHRED ALL OF THAT.

BECAUSE IF I GET AHOLD OF

THAT, I'M GOING TO HAVE YOUR

NAME ON IT, AND ALL I'M

GOING TO DO IS CHANGE THE

ADDRESS, AND I'M GOING TO

GET A CREDIT CARD.

Reporter: UNFORTUNATELY

FOR AMANDA, IDENTITY THEFT

HAS CAUSED HER MANY

EXHAUSTING MONTHS AND MONEY

OUT OF HER OWN POCKET.

I'VE PROBABLY SPENT AT

LEAST 10 HOURS A WEEK

PLAYING PHONE TAG WITH, YOU

KNOW, DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND

DIFFERENT COMPANIES WHO I

HAD ASKED TO HELP ME IN

THIS.

AND BEING PUSHED FROM ONE

DEPARTMENT TO ANOTHER

DEPARTMENT, AND JUSTG JUST

GIVEN THE RUNAROUND.

IT WAS COMPLETELY

EXHAUSTING.

IT WAS LIKE A PART-TIME

JOB.

Reporter: NOW AMANDA

TAKES PROACTIVE STEPS TO

SAFEGUARD HER INFORMATION.

ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR

POTENTIAL FRAUD.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT OUR

RECEIPTS.

WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE'RE

BEING CHARGED THE EXACT

AMOUNT WE EXPECT TO BE

CHARGED.

HEATHER SELLS, CBN NEWS.

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