Attorney General Morrisey warns consumers to use caution with holiday credit card offers

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers to exercise caution when evaluating credit card offers this holiday season.

Consumers may see an uptick in credit card offers with Christmas shopping now in full swing. While it may be tempting to take advantage of the “buy now, pay later” option, the Attorney General urges consumers to verify the credit card offer is legitimate.

“It’s always a good idea to verify any sort of offer you may receive,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Credit cards can be attractive as they offer consumers the option to pay off purchases over time, but credit card fraud can wreak havoc on finances so it’s important to be vigilant.”

Holiday credit card offers require a close reading of the contract. Deferred interest promotions may promise zero-percent interest through December 2020, but failure to pay off the entire balance by the promotion period’s end could stick the consumer with an interest charge dating back to the item’s original purchase date.

Before responding to a credit card offer, keep these things in mind:

Do an online search if the offering company looks unfamiliar. Include the word “scam” after the company’s name to see if it triggers additional results.
Call the offering company directly if an offer to increase a line of credit looks suspicious. The phone number is often printed on the back of the card.
Do not provide personal information or click on any link in an email warning of a problem with the card.

The advice comes as part of the Attorney General’s Holiday Consumer Protection Week.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a fraudulent credit card offer should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com