32ºF

Scam Alert: Monitor your credit card statement

Be on the lookout for hidden charges

photo
(Augie Martin/CNN)


If you're not paying close attention to your credit card bills, you could be making an expensive mistake. These days, con artists are trying to sneak smaller, hidden charges onto your accounts and hoping that you won't notice. The money you've worked so hard to earn can be taken away--right under your nose--by scammers.

"When a scam like that comes up and it's hard to tell apart, it can be frustrating for sure," says Mark Larson, a credit card user.

Larson says he very carefully goes over his credit card account, and sometimes, notices suspicious charges. "When I see a few dollars off or something like that-- it's not what I've seen month after month-- I usually notice that and call 'em back about it."

It's easy to overlook the so-called "smaller" charges on your bill. But, Sheryly Reichert of the Better Business Bureau warns consumers to pay close attention to what shows up on their monthly statements.

"Con men count on your perception that time is money, so you won't take your time to research a 20 or 30 dollar charge... if you get a couple, three, or four of those on your bill, it adds up."

Better Business Bureau experts say scammers will try to hit your personal accounts and they also target businesses with phony bills and invoices.

"They're looking for a huge number of people to spend a little bit of money. The larger amounts of money tend to get more scrutinized in the accounting departments. A little bit of money you assume is ok, and you don't' take the time to review it," says Reichert.

More oversight can save you a lot of money in the long run. Don't wait until those statements come in the mail. Instead, go online to regularly review your accounts.

"It's so easy...I can pull it up on my phone and check what my bank account is. And, I know if there is a penny gone, I can see it, it's easy to find," says Mark Larson, a credit card user.

Ruth to the Rescue Scam Alert

Those hidden charges are just one of many scams out there. The Ruth to the Rescue consumer unit is planning a special event to give you the tools to fight back. Our special reports will start Tuesday, September 30th at 11 p.m. and will continue through most of the day on Wednesday, October 1st.

Ruth to the Rescue is teaming up with experts from the Better Business Bureau to answer your questions about scams and teach you the steps that will help you fight back against ANY scam artist.

Join us next week on Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.com.