Identity theft: How criminals use a low-interest credit card scam to steal from you (Marketplace)

Identity theft: How criminals use a low-interest credit card scam to steal from you (Marketplace)


[♪♪] So we’re about two
minutes away from her house. And I’m going to make
a right here. We’ve obtained a secret list. Yeah this is the street. Used by criminals to
exploit Canadians. We have the names of
thousands of Canadians from across the country. We have credit cards. Addresses. Social insurance numbers. One by one we’re warning them. They’re victims
of identity theft. I think she’s going to be
surprised obviously to see us at her door. -Hi, are you Fernanda?
-Yes. Hi, I’m so sorry
to bother you so late. My name is Makda, I’m with the
CBC and the TV show Marketplace. We believe your personal
information may have been compromised. So what do you see there? It’s my name and
my phone number, right? Mmm-hmm. -Are you Arsenio?
-Yeah. That’s your SIN number? Mmm-hmm. Yes. That’s your
credit card number. You know you’re one of
thousands of Canadians that are on this database. Youch. [Makda] How did these
Canadians get onto this list? They were lured in
by a phone call. Do you recall ever
getting a phone call about reducing your interest rate
on your credit card for a fee? I did a while ago,
maybe close to a year ago Did your call
go something like this? Carol, this is Ronnie in the
verifications department and I’m recording this conversation. [Makda] It sounds like they’re
calling from a bank or credit card company. My name is Jim Mack. I’m a financial advisor
here at card member services. [Makda] You may have
heard the sales pitch too. I’ll get you a
nice decent interest rate. [Makda] Offering to lower
the interest rate on your credit card for a one-time fee. You have authorized
us to charge your card for the one-time
retainer fee of $595. [Makda] That fee
varies on every phone call. Congratulations. You’re going to have lower rates
for the rest of your life and there will be a
once-in-a-lifetime interest charge on your account
in the amount of $795. [Makda] Sounds like
a pretty good deal. If you want to save money
while paying off your debt. But these agents won’t
reduce your interest rate. And it’s not all about
that one time fee. What they’re really
after, your identity. It’s called a
“low interest” scam. Every year, the Canadian
anti-fraud centre gets about 300 complaints. But our investigation
reveals a much bigger problem. We have the names of
close to 3000 victims. From just one call centre. Along with the list,
our source sends us hidden camera
video from Pakistan. Inside call centres. How do you spell
your first name? [Makda] Listen to how much
info the scammers can get. Remember the victims believe
they’re talking to a bank or credit card company. Can you please verify me the
account number on the face of your card? 6019 18– Can you just verify the
last four of your social? 6444. Crap I probably
verified that, my information. You have a lot
of people out there dishonest, and just try to rip
off other people. [Makda] Muhammad Yousfi
used to be one of those guys. A fraudster. He says operated a low-interest
call centre in Pakistan. [Muhammad] We’ve done a
whole lot of things, a whole lot of bad things,
to a lot of good people. And by giving something
back gives me closure. It gives me the ability of being
able to feel like a human being again. [Makda] He says he’s now helping
victims get their money back. And wants to expose this scam. [Muhammad] The whole idea is to
actually get a consumer’s personal information. It could be used to go
ahead and apply for new credit cards. We have actually gone as far as
refinancing a guy’s– a person’s mortgage. We can pretty much
redefine their lives by having that information. [Makda] In just one month, close
to 3000 Canadians targeted by one call centre. The ultimate goal–
stealing your identity. I’m not going to trust
nobody else anymore [Makda] Identity thieves steal
billions of dollars every year. Is there a way to fight back? ♪ Getting to know you ♪ ♪ Getting to know all
about you ♪ [voice-over] Equifax complete is
everywhere you can’t be. Thank you for
calling TransUnion. Thank you for calling Equifax. [Makda] When it comes to
flagging fraud in Canada, TransUnion and Equifax recommend
two options– a fraud alert and credit monitoring. But do they really work? We’re going to put
them to the test. First, credit monitoring. What is credit monitoring? If there is any changes made
to your file you will receive alerts as well from TransUnion. So if someone opens a credit
card in my name I should know about it. -That is correct, sir
-How much does it cost? It will cost you
$19.95 monthly. [Makda] We sign up for credit
monitoring with TransUnion and Equifax. That’s about 500 dollars a year. Does it really work? I’m sure it does. [Makda] Next, our Marketplace
producers apply for new credit cards. If they work we expect to get
email notifications from both credit bureaus. Next product, fraud alerts. What’s a fraud alert? A fraud alert, ma’am, is a
protective statement which stays on the file for six years. We request the creditors to give
you a call before extending any kind of credit
It’s free of cost. [Makda] If the
fraud alert works, the credit card company or the
bank should call to verify we are, who we say we are,
before opening any accounts in our names. That’s what we’re going to test. By signing up for
more credit cards. One batch of
cards with credit monitoring. Another batch of credit
cards with fraud alerts. If TransUnion and
Equifax protections work, we expect to be
tipped off every time. While we wait, we track more
Canadians targeted by the low interest scam. Hi, are you
Grace Johnston? Yes, I am. [Makda] This time our
list takes us to Winnipeg. I want you to
take a look at this. What do you see there? That’s a lot of my
personal information. We’ve got
your credit card number. Yeah.
Yeah. The CVC
number on the back. Holy-moly. Yeah there’s my
birthday, my phone number, my address, my email,
my mother’s maiden name. Enough information
to open a credit card, an account. It’s just overwhelming to know
that it’s out there like that. [Makda] Grace can’t believe
she’s on this list because she says she took extra steps to
protect herself when she was scammed 3 years ago. The Royal Bank
sent me, you know, a letter saying, “Come
pick up your credit card.” And I hadn’t applied for one. [Makda] She went to the bank,
changed her credit card. Got a new password. You thought you had
protected yourself. Yeah [Makda] But her new credit
card info is still out there. It was a
violation of my privacy, it was unnerving. And it keeps coming
back to haunt me. So anytime you deal
with identity theft, you’re impacting
someone’s trust level, you’re impacting
their credit score, you’re impacting
their reputation, and that lasting damage can
follow someone for years or decades. [Makda] Claudiu Popa is a
cybercrime and identity theft expert. He advises companies and
government agencies on how to protect themselves
against cyberfraud. She alerted the bank,
she changed her credit card and yet this is still haunting her. What she could do and
what many Canadians can do, is in fact, change a lot more
of those identity elements. She could change
her email addresses, she could set up
additional warnings. Maiden names are always
used for security questions, and that’s why security
questions are so insecure. And should not be
answered truthfully. [Makda] With that advice Grace
tries fighting back against the fraudsters once again. And this time she
tries something new. Like us, she signs up for credit
monitoring with both TransUnion and Equifax. Okay, so I’ve now
opened it up. [♪♪] [Makda] Across the country
in Vancouver, Robert Darch was a victim of
old-school identity theft. We meet him at his music studio. I had my wallet stolen, I did
what I thought I needed to do. Notified
TransUnion, notified Equifax. [Makda] Darch says he signed
up for fraud alerts with both companies, if there was any
suspicious activity, he expected someone would
call to verify his identity. Yeah, I thought,
once you notify Equifax, once you notify TransUnion, uh,
there’s like a firewall in place and you are protected,
but that was not the case. [Makda] Months later he noticed
something on his credit report. People were still able to open
up bogus cell phone accounts in my name. [Makda] He says creditors never
called to verify his identity. But a local news crew did. [mana] Time to get to
the bottom of it. -I’m Rob, Rob Darch.
[man] The real Rob. The real Rob Darch. I was extremely embarrassed
when CTV showed up to my house and asked me why I was selling
stolen cell phones on Craigslist. [Makda] Not only
was he a victim, his stolen identity was
used to defraud others. [Makda] What do you
think of fraud alerts? I don’t think
they have any teeth. I don’t think that they are
going to protect Canadians. They definitely
didn’t protect me. [Makda] This is your
Marketplace. ♪ ♪ Almost 3000 Canadians
targets of a convincing scam. We’re gonna go ahead and put
the one-time lower activation fee of $995 as
well on this account. [Makda] That one-time fee
goes right to the fraudsters. But the real score? Banking codes. Credit card numbers. SIN numbers. You’ve been a victim
of this more than once? Three or four times. They were trying to take money
out my account. When I realized
I go, “Oh my God.” [Makda] So after the scammers
get our private information, where does it all end up? The answers might be in
Baltimore at Terbium Labs. Companies hire them to
monitor the dark web for stolen information. What is the dark web? The dark web is a part
of the internet that is, it’s unindexed, it
doesn’t show up on Google, it’s not something
you can stumble upon, it’s not something
you can easily access. [Makda] Emily Wilson is a
certified fraud examiner at Terbium. Dark web marketplaces are these
big ecommerce platforms where people can buy and trade
and sell stolen information. It is basically Amazon or
eBay but for illegal content. So it’s like
online shopping for criminals? It’s exactly that. [Makda] Could Grace’s
info be on these sites? With her permission we
provide Terbium her personal information. What did you find? I found a few things
that were concerning to me. We found something that seemed
to match pretty closely to what might’ve been one of
Grace’s credit cards. So if we go over to one
of these carding markets, this is actually the market
we found Grace’s card on. [Makda] This one here?
-This one here. [Makda] But that posting
was from a few months ago. It’s no longer on the site. The fact that it’s no longer
there means that someone has probably bought it already,
which means that she may be at risk for even
more compromise now. [Makda] We break
the news to Grace. Again, violated. The deeper it goes, the
more it gets out there, the more it gets out there
the more a victim I become, and I don’t like being a victim. [Makda] So who is buying and
selling our stolen identities? [woman] We’ve got thousands of
Canadian profiles for sale here. [Makda] We go hunting for
answers on the dark web. [woman] 1000 SIN numbers. Being offered up for $104 total. [Makda] We reach out
to top sellers. Some speak to us, on the
condition we don’t reveal their usernames. We ask them how they
got into identity theft. Identity theft is more
profitable than selling drugs? Up to 10 thousand
dollars a week? So what will hurt
their profit margins? We ask one seller about
credit monitoring services. Remember we’ve
signed up for them. They don’t know what
credit monitoring is? Are they even afraid
of getting caught? They’re not
afraid of the police. So is there any way to
stop these identity thieves? We’re about to find out. Remember, two Marketplace
producers put fraud alerts onto their credit files with
TransUnion and Equifax. They then signed up
for new credit cards. To see if the
companies would flag it. For service in
English, press one. [Makda] For five credit cards. We expect five
fraud alert calls. We only get three. Okay, there is something on
your credit bureau report. That’s why we called you. [Makda] That means fraudsters
could’ve scammed us 2 out of 5 times so how about
credit monitoring? This time… We sign up for 6 credit cards. We add credit monitoring
from Equifax and TransUnion. If it works, we’re expecting
to get two alerts for every application so 12 alerts, right? Wrong. For 6 credit card
applications, we get six alerts. But they come from one
credit bureau never both. Confused? We are too. Turns out banks or
credit card companies usually only do credit checks
with one credit bureau. Not both. And good luck
figuring out which one. So if you don’t pay hundreds
of dollars a year for credit monitoring with both
Equifax and TransUnion, you may be a victim of
fraud and not even know it. We show our findings to
cybercrime expert Claudiu Popa. Definitely it’s a
flaw in the system, no amount of monitoring will
give you 100% guarantee that you’re going to be protected
against identity fraud and identity theft. So essentially, someone
can steal your information, open an account, a credit card,
and you would only find out afterwards? That’s right. It’s a reactive system. So is there
anything that would work? A credit freeze is an
organization tries to check your credit, and your
account is frozen, that credit check would fall
flat and would not be possible to be completed. [Makda] A credit freeze
locks your credit report with TransUnion and Equifax. No one. Including fraudsters. Can access your credit
unless you unfreeze it. Can Canadians
get a credit freeze? Credit freezes are
not available in Canada. [Makda] And here’s the thing. They are available. In the US. For free. In Pakistan, whistle
blower Mohammad used to run a low-interest call centre scam. He knows how effective
credit freezes can be. If the Canadian consumer had
the ability of imposing a credit freeze that would
actually be a huge, a huge blow to the lower
interest rate credit card scammers, hackers. In general criminals
all across the globe. [Makda] To prove the point,
he provides us with an audio recording of a
low-interest scam in action. Note the person getting
the call is an American, who appears to
have a credit freeze. We heard back from the banks. Unfortunately, because the way
your credit reports is set up we cannot get through to see
what your credit score is. -Yeah.
-I’m gonna shred your file. Yeah, okay. What do you
think about that? This is a credit freeze
working for the consumer. Clearly, it’s a good
preventative tool, and everyone should
have access to it. It worked. Yeah, it worked
in that situation. Then, whatever we have
in place is not working. Could a credit freeze
have made a difference for you? It probably would have. But you don’t
get that option, as a Canadian. That’s very frustrating
and depressing to hear. I would encourage the
governments to give us a situation where we
can freeze our credit, can protect
ourselves from fraud. I don’t see a good reason why we
can’t have that in our country. [Makda] This is
your Marketplace. We have the
personal information of thousands of Canadians. They’re victims of a
credit card scheme. Sorry to have to deliver this
kind of information. That’s okay. If it’s not you, then it’ll
be somebody else, right? I really thank you
for talking to me. Thank you so much for helping. You’re welcome. Their
personal information, SIN numbers, credit
card information, with some of that ending up
for sale on the dark web. Equifax and TransUnion offer
credit monitoring and fraud alerts to protect you against
identity theft but our test found they don’t always work. They tell us credit
monitoring is a good way to stay alert to
unauthorized activity. Equifax also says it would be a
mistake to discourage consumers from signing up
for fraud alerts. Experts tell us one of
the best ways to stop scammers. A credit freeze. But they’re only
available in the US, where credit bureaus must
offer freezes for free, by law. So why not Canada? [Makda] Turns out, Ontario
planned to do the same thing. But that legislation stalled
after last year’s provincial election. We want to know why
but the minister in charge of consumer protections,
Bill Walker, who supported
freezes while in opposition won’t grant us an interview. So we catch up with him
at an event in Owen Sound. Minister Walker, I’m
Makda from CBC’s Marketplace. -Pleasure, how are you?
-Nice to meet you. Well, we’ve reached out to
your office a few times to talk about identity
theft protections. Can you tell me why credit
freezes are not available in Ontario? I’m just really looking at
all of those things. I don’t have a specific
answer for you at this point. Certainly, what we
want to do is make sure, it’s paramount that consumer
protection is paramount for everyone and we want to
make sure we do things right. The legislation
already exists, it already passed
your government just needs to proclaim it. So why has that not happened? What I can tell you is anything
that I do I want to have balance, I want to ensure that
I’m doing things that are going to truly protect people. But credit freezes
are available in the US. They have been
free since last year. So shouldn’t people here
have that same protection? I certainly want to commit to
the public of Ontario that if there’s anything going on from a
scam or a fraud perspective we want to make sure we jump
on it and understand it and take action. [Makda] What do Canadians who’ve
had their lives disrupted by identity theft have to say? That’s our information, and if
I can control that being put out there, that would be, that
would make me feel a lot better. If they can do it in the States,
why can’t they do it in Canada? ♪ ♪ [Makda] Have you been a
victim of identity theft? Send us your story
to [email protected]

70 Replies to “Identity theft: How criminals use a low-interest credit card scam to steal from you (Marketplace)

  1. Got the call too but being that I work at as financial advisor I just hung up and I have no debt so no need for lower interest. I feel sorry for people who was hooked.

  2. Surprised that in Canada you can't ask the bank to freeze your card in case of theft…I thought that was standard in all countries. From someone living in a developing country I thought Canada, a developed country, would have a better security against identity theft and credit card thieves

  3. The BEST protection is ONESELF!

    We should take more care in revealing our ID, educate yourself, take actions such as occasional checks with the credit bureaus. ID theft is just another scam. If one doesn't care and do anything, he 'll be frauded in other ways. No laws, gov't, police, credit companies can do all for him. Thank Market Place for warning us

  4. The biggest scam is that you're a slave to the credit company. I don't care about trying to keep up or my credit scores. I don't care if my credit scores is zero.

  5. This is why you pay cash for everything. Banks are more scammers than scammers themselves. Banks need to send letters more than once if need be to every single one of their customers and inform them of the banks practices, such as banks never contacting them for any information. The most vulnerable are the elderly yet the banks do nothing to educate them about such things. The banks systems is what is flawed. Clearly most scams come from India and its governments are well involved. Why dont the U.S governments put sanctions on india until they fix their crap up. Are these scams from those areas not the interest of national security. At the end of the day though the biggest scammers are the governments, corporations and even the media with their made up fairytales they make believe. Dont worry about a few hundred dollars. Everyone is scammed thousands and thousands every yr through taxes, insurances, and standard cost of living across the board.

  6. If you notice, most of the victims are again, at least 45 years old. It says something about the older generation being more vulnerable to technology-based scams. My late grandmother nearly sent > $1000 to Canada when scammer imitated my cousin and said he was stuck in Ontario under arrest. She didn't realise that Canadian police don't set ransom prices for people they arrest, regardles of crime…

  7. Excellent reporting, here in the US I get a lot of calls for "your car warranty is about to run out", I know its scammers because I am married to a mechanic, we haven't bought a car with a warranty for over 20 years. Sure would like to see someone check into it.

  8. I have changed my debit card twice, my credit card four times, and my passwords accordingly. I think that if you use these, you are vulnerable, and to change them regularly is just common sense. When Target had their data base of credit card customers hacked, I was in the group for the dates they cited at risk. I immediately went to my bank and requested a new debit card, with new number. They asked me why. I told them that Target had been hacked, and my debit card was among the information stolen. They asked if anyone had used it. I told them no, and I wasn't going to wait until it was. They (Wells Fargo) acted like I was being neurotic, but they humored me. I got caught in two credit card scams, and changed my number four times, along with the password. Crooks are very smart, and they have the technology to steal your stuff. I do not answer the phone to solicitors, and I cannot tell you how many calls I have received offering to reduce my credit card interest. Scams are everywhere, and there is good reason to use cash at every opportunity.

  9. 12:02 … That's not correct !
    Dark web is not a place where you can buy scammed credit card and other information, that is Deep Web. Dark web is where you can't view information from search index & are not easily available in public, which can only be accessed through password, i.e. Cloud Drive, e-Banking access, personal e-mail etc.

    Check here : https://www.servicecare.org.uk/news/surface-web-vs-deep-web-vs-dark-web-61792715468

  10. Kristin Elizabeth Fontenot 435451685 7 31 1981 my father is Ricky james Fontenot my mother is Linda Gail Fontenot his wife ……………

  11. There is a Comcast scam going on out there. The caller says he's from Comcast and offers to enter the customer into a low rate promotional offer going on . It's very hard to tell the difference from the fake Comcast and the real Comcast.

  12. My Name is Renne. Last month I was having some relationship issues with my boyfriend. His always cheating and lying to me. Until I met this Computer Geek Called Cheng in China. His a very good hacker and does it has a professional. He helped me track my boyfriend moves and gives me his accurate locations, all texts his been getting on phone and also every voice call he makes. His good at his work. If you don’t mind I can share you his contact. [email protected] on ICQ:747122166. I just shared my experience with him his the most legit computer geek I know so far.

    Have a wonderful day ahead

  13. when the victim is not tech savvy, they make the perfect target unfortunately its our elders and moms and dads.

  14. All times someone used my card I reported the fraud and the charge is removed. It's the companies that should care not the consumer.

  15. I can Help Americans to bust down all (Low-Interest rate credit card scam) Call centers Based On Pakistan Especially On karachi Email me at ([email protected]) I used to Work on these call center but when i Actually get to know this is Scam i Left that Job. Basically what they are Doing is Getting all of your Personal Information from u and make u Agreed that u Can going to save Specific Money each Year with 0% Interest rate and They Mind Boggling Thing is these scammers is Giving u 0% Percent interest rate How ? The answer is they Call other American bank like chase order u a new Credit card (if u have good Credit score) then they Transfer all of ur Balance to a new Credit card (Having remain Credit as a One time Fee) the balance they transfer to the new card with 0% Interest rate which is Actually a Promotional Offer of 24 to 30 months giving by Every American bank to make New customers which Can be cost under 100$(Balance Transfer fee) But Scammers make u pay 500-5000$ for the zero percent interest rate that u can get it for cheap. This Scam be Like digging ur Own grave

  16. Ask your bank for an additional layer of online shopping security via two-factor authentication service. If they don't have it, find one who does care about your online security. Also as precaution buy a new sim card preferably not with your name and use that phone number to receive security codes. By adopting (2FA) your bank will sent you a security code every time your card is used for online shopping, now you can effectively monitor and secure your account. And never put/use that phone number online. A tip from an ICT consultant << if it's too good to be true don't go thru >>

  17. Protect your identity and your personal information. Add an extra layer of protection to your credit and debit cards. Virtual cards. One time use or single merchant card for every single purchase, everywhere! Never worry about your original card numbers being charged without your permission again!!!

    https://privacy.com/join/34QUN

  18. BBT Bank in the United States steals a lot of money from their clients from the way they rearrange deposits and debits. Holding back deposits while running debits through and then posting the deposit and stealing $36 for each debit posted. Bad thing is nothing is done by the feds in the US. All CFPB and FDIC do is send complaints to banks and they lie to the feds and case is closed. These federal agencies listed above never investigated BBT Bank for ripping ppl off.

  19. So some one with a generic company name calls from out of the blue and says they are from a bank, or a credit card company , or outer space …or they are a unicorn ….and you read out your credit card number, your CID number , give them your social security number, your bank account numbers, your PIN, your mother’s maiden name and your shoe size?! Really? Really? Unbelievable.

  20. Never do anything over the phone if someone phones you on a landline just tell them to hold on for a minute and go and do some DIY or wash the car do the housework then when you back to your phone sometime later they are usually gone or another favourite of mine is to ask them to hold on and then just play music down the phone they are not wasting my time just their own.

  21. I got 1 of these calls like a week ago…luckily I was able too spot it when that same voice was hesitant too give me the company's name …scary stuff..

  22. I get the calls daily, I tell them I don’t have a credit card, I do but they don’t know. . They hang up

  23. ok since credit monitoring's and fraud alert don't seem to guarantee the public's safety and for those that pay for that service could file a law suit against the credit companies for which they charge services for right? Also since this video has been published has any progress been made for credit freezes been established as of the date 2019/08/01 ?

  24. Honestly I’m not gonna lie, I have a vendor that’s on the regular web and not on the dark web and he sends me working CC’s every time I purchase from him & he’s based in USA so he usually ships my stuff within 2 days.

    Let me know if y’all need his contact! I’m pretty sure this dude used to run some pretty big store on the dark web but he works through email only now, which honestly I prefer with him, and BEST THING ABOUT IT IS HIS ENGLISH IS AMAZING WHICH IS RARE FOR VENDORS!!

  25. Had one of these P.O.S. call me earlier today. They spoofed the number to make it look like it was coming from my area, answered it and low and behold it was an automated call about lowering my interest rates … and to press 1 … I pressed 1. I said, do you have nothing better to do than to scam people?? He said "No scam". I said something like there's no use lying as I know it's a scam … he then went on a profanity spree along with talking about bestiality … I also said some indian swear words to him and said I know he's in India, to which he claimed he was in China a few times, but yet repeated the indian swear words… so someone from China knows indian swear words, yeah sure. I should have kept talking to him asking questions about his scam, especially when he offered up that he was making like $3,000 a day.

  26. I have a recording from YouTube called "Lenny" that I play to anyone phoning me,looking for information to scam me.Lenny is a old man,hard of hearing,forgetful,friendly,easily distracted and best of all the perfect time waster for scammers.

  27. I got calls from "Immigration" to "Revenue Canada" to so many phishing emails pretending to be UPS to Bank X to FB etc and etc.
    Capital One hack exposed 6 million Canadians, including 1 million SIN numbers. SIN should never be used to verify identity.
    We need credit freezes in the country, Canada is so behind the US in this.

  28. The funny thing is uncivilized people scammed from civilized. Who is smart?
    😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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