CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning West Virginia consumers to be careful when receiving calls regarding their credit or debit cards being canceled or deactivated.

The AG's office has been made aware of a scam in which callers target consumers with debit or credit cards and offer to fix “problems” with the card. The scammer’s phone number may not fully appear on a Caller ID, and the scammer may not state what bank or financial company he or she represents.

However, the scammer will ask the consumer for his or her card account number and information to fix the alleged problem.

“Our Office has received many calls about this scam already, and we want to ensure consumers know what steps to take to stay safe. Many consumers use credit or debit cards as their main payment option when purchasing something, and to be told the card is deactivated can create a sense of fear or panic,” Morrisey said. “If someone calls regarding your account, please immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card to verify whether there is an issue.

"Do not trust someone who calls out of the blue offering help to fix supposed problems.”

The Attorney General’s Office reminded consumers that their guard should go up any time someone calls and tries to solicit personal and identifiable information. Consumers who encounter this kind of call should hang up right away and then independently verify the information they were told. Consumers also need to know that scammers can mask the number from which they are calling by using VoIP, or Voice-over-Internet-Protocol, services. That makes it appear as though the call is coming from a trusted business, government office or your home phone. That practice is known as “spoofing.”

“These scammers can be very persuasive during these calls,” Morrisey said. “Our Office urges consumers to always remain careful when giving out financial or personal information over the phone.”

Morrisey's office asks consumers who believe they have received one of these phony card fix calls or have concerns about this scam to call its General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.

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