Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Philippine Credit Card Scams
I was just recently a victim of a new modus operandi of credit card scammers. Anyone who's applying credit cards over the phone should be very careful in giving out their personal information or just abandon that practice although out. A shady credit card agent gave me an unsolicited call in the office offered to give me a Unionbank gold credit card wherein I don't have to submit any documents to them and will just conduct my interview over the phone. Having acquired some of my credit cards that way, I naively gave my personal information as well as the information of my existing Citibank credit card number, join date and expiry date. The agent also instructed me to fax my latest ITR as well as the credit card statement of my existing card. Finding no deviation from the SOP of what credit card agents normally require for an application, I also faxed those documents.
A week later, I was surprised to receive a credit card from the courier for my existing Citibank credit card that has my name but bears a different address. Alarmed, I immediately called up Citibank and ask why was a card delivered to me when I did not request for any replacement. Turns out there was someone who called claimed to be me reported that my Citibank credit card had been lost and requested a reissue, he also changed my billing address where the credit card was supposed to be delivered. Luckily, the billing address he has given was incomplete and the courier delivered the card to my office address which thankfully the fraudsters did not change. I immediately blocked my card and reverted the changes made to my billing information and I plan to close my credit card with Citibank because my credit card as well as my personal information was already compromised.
I find it VERY surprising how easily it is for the fraudsters to change my billing address. These credit card companies should be stricter in changing sensitive personal information like that through a more thorough verification process like needing to fax a proof of billing for the new address or immediately call back the card holder to verify if they indeed changed their address through the contact numbers originally provided, since I highly doubt these scammers would give out their own landline. I am planning to file this report to the NBI to hopefully catch this syndicate and prevent anyone from becoming victims of this scam. Please do not give out your personal information over the phone and if they claim to be from your credit card company, get their name and phone number or local extension and tell them you will call them back as soon as you verify with your credit card company that the name and contatc number the person who just called you are indeed connected to their company.