Don’t Be Fooled By The Inclusion of Credit Card Digits

This text message scam is pretty sneaky. Read about it and be sure to inform your loved ones.
credit card scam

Another day, another scam.

The text message scams seem to be never ending these days. Luckily for the most of us, we’re pretty quick to second guess a surprise text message that comes through and due to the alarming number of messages from unknown numbers, we’ve become quite skeptical.

One common scam that we’ve been hearing about recently is particularly clever and very easy to fall as it not only claims you made a purchase, but it includes the first numbers of your credit card as proof.

This text message looks very real. And if you dig into your wallet and pull out your Wells Fargo credit card, it will actually begin with the numbers 4342!

But here is the twist…the first numbers on EVERY credit card issued by Wells Fargo begin with those four digits!

In fact, the first 4-6 numbers on all credit cards are used to identify the bank associated with the card.

All Chase Bank cards begin with 4147, all Bank of America cards begin with 4800, all Citi cards with 5424, and so on. These are not secret numbers. These are not personal numbers. These numbers simply identify the credit card as being issued by a specific bank. It’s the last part of the card, along with the 3 pin numbers on the back that personalize it to you specifically.

Scammers are clever and realize that including this sort of information on a text message is going to raise your eyebrows. If you get caught off guard, you’ll see those 4 digits and assume someone has your credit card. You won’t take the time to think it all through.

This is why we want to be sure that you hear it from us—and hopefully you spread the word to your loved ones and other friends—that you must remain vigilant and not quickly fall for a scam just because of a few convincing numbers in a text message. 

What Happens If I Respond To The Text Message?

First off, just don’t do it.

If you do happen to respond “no” to this message, indicating that this charge wasn’t yours, it is unlikely that anything malicious will happen. You don’t need to freak out.

What is likely to come next in this ploy is that the scammer will continue the conversation, trying to convince you to call them to sort out the problem. They will provide you a phone number to call and claim that it is the Wells Fargo (or other bank’s) office.

This is where they will try to have you send them money or provide a full credit card number as “proof” of who you are. Do not do this. 

Don’t text your full credit card number and don’t call them and share any information. Most likely the scammer doesn’t know your name, doesn’t know where you live, doesn’t really know anything about you. They just want you to initiate the conversation and this is when they will start asking questions, pretending to be your bank.

If you are worried that your account has actually been compromised, rather than calling a number that was texted to you, call the number on the back of your credit card. This way you can be certain you are speaking to an official representative and you can get to the root of the issue if there really is one.

Have another question? Ask an expert.

Our team is here for you. If you have a question about caring for an older adult or other member of your family—be it physical, legal, medical, financial, or anything in between—we’ll have one of our Trusted Advisors get back to you ASAP.

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