GLASGOW, Ky. — As COVID-19 continues to shift consumer purchasing habits, it’s also created a new opportunity for scammers.
Spectrum News 1 spoke to a Kentucky bank about the recent increase in credit card fraud and what you can do to protect yourself.
“It’s just a very digital vehicle for money,” said Amber Baker, training coordinator at South Central Bank.
With Kentuckians continuing to social distance and shop online as a result of the pandemic, crooks are on the move to exploit credit card users.
Baker said her bank has seen a big jump in credit card scams.
“We’ve seen an uptick in it just because people are working from home, less people are getting out and about. So they're using their card for purchasing online more than they used to. Unfortunately, the internet is not a super safe place. It never will be,” Baker said.
Baker has noticed several trends involving scammers who are trying to get your money and information.
“Just they haven’t made the purchase. It’s when they look on their statement or they just look on their mobile app to see what kind of activity has gone through, their balancing their checkbook and they notice something they didn’t do,” Baker said.
To avoid becoming a victim of fraud, anti-fraud experts recommend using secure and traceable transactions and payment methods.
“If you’re purchasing something and you don’t know the site or you can’t verify they have security kind of checks in place then it might not be a good idea to use that site,” added Baker.
She said no one is immune to scams.
“It’s anybody of any age or anything. They don’t have a face to that name and to anybody. You’re just another target for them, Baker said.
While more business is being done online or over the phone, it’s imperative to be wary of disclosing sensitive information, unless you're sure it’s a reputable source.
“If anybody from us or anybody else obviously ever gets a call wanting to verify a transaction on their card never, ever, ever give that credit card number over the phone. Whoever is calling you on the phone should have that information,” Baker said.
Baker encourages cardholders to monitor their bank statements consistently. In addition, she said to check your settings on your online or mobile bank account to set up security alerts.
“Pay attention to all those transactions just to make sure that you really and truly have done them because per different scenarios you might not have,” Baker said.
Officials said you can dispute a charge, but it’s vital to do so quickly.
Here is more information on how you can protect yourself from scams.