Home > Credit Card Scams > Credit Card Cramming

Credit Card Cramming

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 5 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Credit Card Cramming Fraud Visa Receipts

We think of cramming as a word associated with school and exams. But there's another type of cramming - credit card cramming - that's far more dangerous to your financial health. It was a huge telemarketing scam in the late 1990s, but it's still around, and still making plenty of money for the scammers.

How It Works

There are several ways companies can get your credit card number. It might be gathered from third parties, for example, or from bin diving for receipts. But the most common method is from something you've bought or ordered, especially with adult services.

Suddenly charges begin appearing on your credit card statement. They're usually quite small, nothing more than £20, but you don't understand them. When you call the company, you find it's for a subscription, perhaps, or articles they claim you've bought (if you've subscribed to an adult service, you'll find that the agreement you clicked "OK" to often agrees to these extras, with billing continuing until you tell them to stop).

The process will continue until you either tell them to stop (and even then it might not happen quickly) or challenge the charges with your credit card company, telling them they were unauthorised.

In 1999, cramming scammed some 900,000 people over 22 countries, bringing in a total of £20 million. One American company ran a massive fraud, worth millions. At one point they were responsible for 4% of all Visa charge-backs, with a rate 100 times the national average.

How To Avoid The Scam

  • Always take your credit card receipts and either shred or tear them up before disposing of them.
  • Check your statement monthly. Investigate any charges that you don't understand (sometimes they might be legitimate, from a transaction you made, but the company name differs from the shop name).
  • If it's something you definitely didn't order, or a subscription you've tried to cancel, challenge the charge with your credit card company.
  • Be very careful where you give your credit card information. Adult sites are notorious for scams of this kind.
  • Read the fine print before agreeing to any subscription. Make sure you know all the conditions involved.

What To Do If You're A Victim

Dispute the charges with your credit card company if it's something you didn't authorise. Your responsibility is limited in such cases.

If it's for a subscription you didn't order, insist the company stop it and confirm the cancellation in writing. Contact Consumer direct and the Financial Services Authority, who can pursue this matter of financial fraud.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • linxu
    Re: Vishing Scam
    if i only have fee to pay card reference number,can I pay online? Because I can only provide accurate payment reference number and amounts, the address…
    25 July 2019
  • Angry666
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call. . I asked for his name. Location ID and what department. . He hung up. . 0114 number. Reported to sky. But they ain't interested.…
    19 July 2019
  • John
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had call from and ethnic man named Joseph. Refund on my Sky account asking DOB gave completely wrong one he took it. Then asked for expiry date on…
    25 June 2019
  • Cadbury
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from " sky". My breakdown ! First clue GOOD AFTERNOON It was 11 am Cover is ending. Buy now £150 for two years. Cannot pay direct debit. But one…
    18 June 2019
  • jacques73
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call from a person named Kelly who said she was from Sky maintenance and that my cover was about to expire. Said they were doing a deal on…
    30 May 2019
  • Norbs
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from ‘Sky tv’, we will change your box because we have had lots of complaints about it. Security check - what is your date of birth? OK because you…
    23 May 2019
  • Dusty
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from 01254 786422 stating calling from sky to say they had been having difficulties with sky boxes and they were updating a they would send out a…
    14 April 2019
  • Doccon
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a Man claiming to be from Sky telling me I was about to receive a new sky box it would arrive Staurday as SKY had received many compliants…
    10 April 2019
  • Ray
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had Indian lady claiming to be from Sky telling me I was about to receive a new sky box....I was asked my d.o.b and sort code(for verification) I…
    16 March 2019
  • Cols
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Had a phone call from "Sky Protect" today offering a huge discount on Sky equipment insurance. "Paul" wanted my card numbers. I refused to give them,…
    4 February 2019