Protecting yourself

Credit card scam alert — check your statements

Emily Crone

Watch out, credit card users: A new scam has been reported. It’s not uncommon for unusual charges to appear on one’s credit statement — identity theft happens all the time. What’s not common is for many people to have the same mysterious charge.

KETV, an Omaha news station, recently reported that fraudulent charges have appeared from “ICH Services” on credit card statements across America. The owner of a Pittsburgh consulting firm, ICH Services, told KETV he isn’t responsible for the charges, and is upset his business name is apparently being used fraudulently.

In each case, the charge was under $10. One man who received the ICH Services charge told KETV that the toll-free number listed with the charge went straight to voice mail, and his call was not returned.

A blogger who writes about paying off her student debt says in a post that she was charged $9.80 from ICH Services. She did not recognize the business on her credit card statement so she called the 1-800 number listed with the charge, and was also sent directly to voice mail. When she called her credit card company, she was told that it was indeed a fraudulent transaction, and her account was closed.  Many readers commented on her blog, saying they, too, had received the same fraudulent charge.

This should serve as a reminder to frequently check your credit and debit card statements. If you don’t recognize a charge, don’t ignore it just because it is a small amount. Some scammers charge small amounts on many different cards, particularly to test the validity of stolen cards. If you see this or another suspicious charge, call your credit card company immediately. They will help assess whether it is fraudulent or not, and can guide you through the process of disputing the charge, closing the tainted account and opening a new one.

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  • s.nataraj

    better to send my monthly statement through mail