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Charged £5.95 on your credit card? It could be a scam

30th January 2014

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) a US consumer protection group is warning about a new scam that might hit UK consumers' debit and credit cards with an unexplained charge of $9.84 (£5.95).

Fraudsters are using stolen payment cards to make small charges that could easily go unnoticed. The charges are attributed to generic-looking websites which claim to offer “customer support services”.

The BBB says the scam relies on the fact that many people do not check their credit card statements in detail, and the credit card companies are unlikely to chase a small amount.  

Don’t take the scammers word

The BBB said: "Victims in the US report calling the “customer support”' site and receiving verbal confirmation that the charge would be cancelled. However, don't take the scammers at their word.

"Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your credit card information has been compromised, and its likely scammers will be back for more."

$9.84 translates to about £5.95 at today's exchange rates. If you see this sum or even the dollar amount charged to your credit or debit card for a service you do not think you have purchased, contact your bank immediately. The BBB also said as word gets out the scammers may change the amount. 

One website traced to London

The scam was first uncovered by ex-Washington Post columnist Brian Krebs on his website, Krebs on Security. Krebs traced the scam to a wider network of operators stretching from Cyprus to India and the United Kingdom.

Krebs also found that one of the websites can be traced to a business park in Acton, north west London, meaning the scam could potentially hit UK consumers' cards.

For further information please visit the BBB website. 

Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

Related link

Credit card fraud