Pre-paid calling cards which can be used on either mobile or pay phones are quite popular these days.
They offer the convenience of being able to make calls to friends, family or business associates, either in the local area or even abroad.
There is not only the convenience of not having to use a home phone but also the cost benefit versus making long distance calls from other sources.
When buying a pre-paid calling card you choose how much credit to have and calls are then only charged by the minute or maybe even by the second.
Unfortunately, however, there are a couple of different scams associated with pre-paid calling cards.
Misleading or hidden charges
Some pre-paid calling cards come with hidden charges or fees that are neither mentioned on the card nor at the point of sale.
These can include connection charges or restrictions to the times when advertised rates can be received.
If you are unsure about any terms or conditions associated with a call card that you are buying then ask your shopkeeper.
If they are of no assistance then consider buying an alternative card or researching the organisation behind the card via the internet.
Tariffs and conditions should be clearly stated there if nowhere else. If they are not then avoid!!
Many prepaid calling cards come with a 3 digit PIN number on the back.
Some scammers are able to track people’s home or mobile telephone numbers and will then call them, posing as a legitimate organisation, such as a fraud representative from a credit card company.
They will cook up some sort of story about the security of you prepaid calling card and will then try and extract the 3 digit PIN number from you in order to ‘verify’ that you are the rightful owner of that card.
Of course, should you give them that number, they will then go and run up telephone call charges against your card.
The sort of people who are behind these scams are inventive and always thinking of new ways to get their calls for nothing.
If you are aware of how you can be conned you at least have a chance of avoiding the obvious ruses.