CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says West Virginia consumers need to be careful when responding to unsolicited credit card offers via email as the holiday shopping season gets into full swing.

“This is a time of year when people may find themselves in tight financial times between buying gifts, weather-proofing their homes for winter, or paying for other expenses,” Morrisey said in a press release. “It’s important to not allow a bad situation to get worse by signing up for a fraudulent credit card offer that could end up costing you thousands of dollars and hours of lost time.”

The AG's office says that before responding to an unsolicited credit card offer, consumers should keep a few things in mind:

* If the company offering the line of credit looks unfamiliar, do an Internet search. Type the name of the company followed by the word “scam” to see if it triggers any results.

* If an offer to increase a line of credit looks suspicious, call the company directly. The credit card’s customer service department number typically is printed on the back of the card.

* If you receive a notice via email about a problem with your card, do not click on any links or provide personal information to get a new one. Call your company directly.

“Much as you would do with any sort of message like this, don’t feel pressured to act before you do a little bit of investigation,” Morrisey said. “These would-be scammers are counting on consumers to rush through a process and not think clearly before they give up information that could make them a victim of identity theft.”

More News