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Scam Watch Consumer Alert: BINChecker

collection letter

Business Consumer Alliance is issuing a Scam Watch alert and is asking consumers to look out for calls from a “law office” regarding an alleged credit card debt. We recently received an inquiry from a consumer who received a call from a “law firm” demanding payment for a credit card debt that she paid off several years ago. The caller directed the consumer to go to http://binchecker.com to check the validity of the debt.

BINChecker is advertised as a software tool merchants can use to verify whether a credit or debit card is real. The website provides information on bank identification numbers (BIN), how verification services can be used to prevent fraud, and other credit/debit card related information.

However, it is troubling to note that the company appears to be hiding its identify through a private domain registry as there is no information regarding how to contact the business nor is there much information on how to utilize their services. While no payment seems to be collected on the website, users are asked to enter credit or debit card numbers in the search field. This information could be captured and used for any number of things. There are no terms and conditions for using the website and no privacy policy to inform you what information is collected and how it is used.

There also doesn’t appear to be any way to verify a debt on the website as the representative calling the consumer indicated on the phone. In fact, it is not clear why the consumer would need to verify their own debt when in fact the collector should be able to provide validity of the debt.

We advise you to never provide personal or financial information to anyone unless you have researched them thoroughly.  For more information and tips on dealing with a collection agency, visit BCA Resource Guides.

Have you received a similar call? If so, BCA would like to hear from you. Or, if you have used BINchecker, we would like to know about your experience. Please leave a review about BINChecker on our website using the link or leave a comment.  Stay updated on scams and various consumer topics by following BCA on Facebook and Twitter.

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About Business Consumer Alliance Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.