Consumer IQ

ALERT: Have a $9.84 Charge On Your Account? It Might Be Fraud

Fraud Alert - Watch for $9.84 Charges :: Mint.com/blog

Have you seen a $9.84 charge on one of your credit or debit accounts?

It might be fraud, according to the Better Business Bureau. The consumer protection group put out a national alert about the scam on Monday. 

What to look for.

Look for small, unexplained charges made to your credit or debit account to seemingly-generic websites such as EEETsac.comCEWcs.com and EduAcc.in, which claim to offer customer support services.

Note: These are just the most common websites used in the scam. The email address associated with these domains has over 230 websites assigned to it — you can see the entire list of them here.

The most recent fraudulent charges have been made for $9.84, but that amount may change as word about this scam gets out.

The company listed on your bank statement has a website with a generic landing page that includes text promising a “100% refund of your last payment”, along with a customer service number and email address.

Victims say they have called the customer support number listed on the company’s website and received verbal confirmation that the charge will be reversed, but that never happens.

The scammers expect that consumers won’t notice these small charges on their bank statements and that credit card companies won’t go after such small amounts.

Who has been affected?

It’s not yet clear how widespread the fraud might be, how many consumers have been affected, or how and when the affected credit card numbers were stolen.

The fraudsters behind the scheme.

This scam is part of a network that stretches from Cyprus and India to the United Kingdom. It was first discovered by Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity journalist and former Washington Post reporter.

He was able to trace the operation back to two men from Cyprus and the transactions were processed by a Malta-based bank.

There are still many unknown details about the scam. You can visit Krebs on Security for the latest updates.

What consumers can do about it.

Consumers are being urged to closely monitor past and current credit card statements for unusual charges.

If fraud is suspected, call the card issuer immediately (the customer service number is typically on the back of the card).

Tell your bank you believe you have been a victim of fraud, make a report, and request a new card.

Once the fraudsters have your card information they can use it again, so it’s extremely important you get a completely new card number.