With the end of the year happening this weekend, you might be tempted to take advantage of some tax-write-off donations to a charity. Not a bad idea if you can swing it, but if you can't and you suddenly see some charges on your credit card towards a 'charity', be suspicious as it's more than likely fraud, and means your credit card has been compromised.

The Minnesota Better Business Bureau sent out an email today warning folks about the popular fraud scam.

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According to the Better Business Bureau;

You review your credit card statement and notice a charitable donation that you don’t remember making. No, it’s not a memory lapse; you were a victim of credit card fraud.

These phony charity charges are part of a bigger con. It all started when scammers got your credit card information, which may have been shared in a scam or as part of a data breach. After getting your credit card details, scammers now need to check whether they are valid. To do this, scammers often use charity websites. Charities often don’t have sophisticated fraud protection, so it’s easy for scammers to make a lot of small donations. When the charges go through, the scammer knows that your card details are still valid. Then, they will use your card for bigger purchases.
Some tips from the Better Business Bureau to protect yourself from possible fraud include:

  • Report any questionable charges immediately
  • Keep a close eye on charges made to your account
  • Protect sensitive personal information

If you are a victim of credit card fraud you might also look into FREE credit monitoring to see if more information than your credit card number was recently stolen.

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