Watch Your Wallet! - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Watch Your Wallet!

You work hard for your money, but as hard as you work, somebody’s working just as hard to steal it from you. The latest scam, one we've warned you about before, with a new twist.

It’s computer geek heaven, and now scammers are trying to take advantage of it, and us. Best Buy, the store stocked with everything electronic, from computers to TVs, movies and music. Obviously Best Buy has a site on the World Wide Web giving you a look at everything they sell. But these days they also have a warning about a scam. Someone’s sending out emails about thieves using stolen credit card information. But the email’s a scam, trying to get your information.

It happens all the time. If you get any email at all, you'll eventually get some trying to get your money. Sales pitches are easy. They're the telemarketers of the on line world. See the pitch coming a mile away, delete the email.

But what if your Internet service provider sent you a friendly reminder about your bill? Click your way to an important message. Again, scam artists have no problem setting up dummy pages that look just like the real thing, right down to the ads. In this case, they say the credit card company denied the charge, and to stay on line, I have to pay up. They provide a new form to fill out; it's perfectly safe, totally encrypted, right? They need my name and number, then address. Is this starting to look familiar? Like a credit application? Even a few of the things credit companies use to make sure you're who you say you are. Mothers maiden name and such. These folks are greedy. They want to steal my screen name and password too! And they're demanding a new credit card. Wonder why? So they can use it some of the places you already use your current card, without anyone picking up on it, at least not right away. All of this should make you very suspicious. So make sure you never, ever give your important financial information to someone asking you through the email or on a web site you don't know well. That's another key. Check the web address. If it's nothing like legitimate businesses you know and trust, hide the credit cards and lock up the checkbook.

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