That $9.84 Charge on Your Credit Card Bill May Signal Fraud

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

After the recent data breaches at Target and other stores, you'll want to be on the lookout for small charges on your credit card statements.

This post comes from Bob Sullivan at partner site

With all the stories of major retailers losing millions of credit card account numbers, you are probably scouring your monthly bills looking for fraudulent charges like a $700 plane ticket or $600 television you didn’t buy. That might be a big mistake.

One common way credit card hackers commit fraud, and get away with it, is to avoid getting greedy. Through the years, they’ve found it’s much easier to steal a little money from a lot people, rather than a lot of money from a few people. For example: It’s much easier to sneak a $10 charge on 10,000 cards than a $10,000 charge onto 10 cards, but the haul is the same.

Big-ticket charges for electronics or airfare stick out like a sore thumb on a credit card bill. Busy consumers are much less likely to spot a small charge, or they might even decide a tiny fraud isn’t worth the phone call to get it removed and to face the hassle of getting a new card.

Hackers, as always, prey on human nature. There seems to be something magical about the $10 threshold.

The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about this type of fraud on Monday after reports surfaced of a series of $9.84 charges finding their way onto consumers’ credit cards. Consumers who visit the website listed next to the charge see a curious page that offers customer support, the BBB says.

“The text promises to ‘refund 100 percent of your last payment,’ and provides a phone number and email address,” said the BBB in a statement. “Victims report calling the ‘customer support’ site and receiving verbal confirmation that the charge would be canceled. However, don’t take the scammers at their word. Contact your bank to report the charges and request a new credit card. Your card information has been compromised, and it’s likely scammers will be back for more.”

Independent security journalist Brian Krebs first described the $9.84 charge problem earlier this month. His website lists two dozen domains associated with the charges.

“If I had to hazard a charitable guess about what is going on here, I would say some ambitious ‘affiliates’ associated with these moneymaking schemes were abusing the system and pushing through charges on stolen credit cards,” Krebs wrote.

While it’s possible the source of some of the stolen credit card numbers being used to make these $9.84 charges are the caches of account numbers taken recently from Target, Neiman Marcus, and possibly Michaels, that’s unclear at the moment. Some of the domains involved were registered more than a year ago, suggesting they predate the latest round of credit card hacks.

Either way, the key point remains: The most likely way individual consumers will be harmed by the Target hack is if they don’t notice small, sub-$10 fraudulent charges on their credit cards, and pay the bill.

So look carefully for suspicious items on your bills, both large and small. If you don’t notice it, you’ll pay for it.

More on

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Taco Bell Is Handing Out Free Food for World Series Stolen Bases

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,683 more deals!