CONSUMER ALERT: “Advance Fee” Credit Card Fraud

August 19, 2010

Contact: Maine Attorney General (207) 626-8599

Attorney General Janet T. Mills warns of a new “advance fee” credit card fraud that is targeting Maine residents. Southern Maine’s PeoplesChoice Credit Union reports that scammers have been claiming to be from “PeoplesChoice Saving” and offering a credit card with a $2000 line of credit. In return the callers ask for payment of $200 and the victim’s bank account information so they can immediately withdraw the funds from the victim’s account. Brenda Piecuch, Compliance Manager and Information Security Officer for PeoplesChoice Credit Union, says that they “have received 25 calls over the past three weeks from people who have been contacted by the scammers. PeoplesChoice Credit Union has nothing to do with this illegal offer.” PeoplesChoice has branches in Biddeford, Wells, Saco and Sanford.” Advance Fee Credit Card scams are fraudulent and prey on people who desperately need a line of credit.

Mills warns consumers never to give out bank account or other personal identifying information over the telephone or over the Internet without confirming the identity and address of the requestor. “Verify. Verify. Verify,” Mills said, “and never send money to people you don’t know. No legitimate bank doing business in Maine will ask you for money or account information over the phone or over the Internet.”