CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is asking the public to use caution and common sense when evaluating credit card offers this holiday season. This advice is part of the Attorney General’s Holiday Consumer Protection Week.

During this Christmas shopping season, consumers may see a rise in credit card offers. While it may be tempting to take advantage of the “buy now, pay later” option, the Attorney General urges consumers to make sure that these credit card offers are actually permitted.

“It’s always a good idea to verify any sort of offer you may receive. 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,” said Attorney General Morrisey.

Consumers should be wary of holiday credit card offers as they require a close reading of the contract. Deferred interest promotions may promise zero-percent interest through December 2023, but if someone fails to pay off the entire balance by the promotion period’s end, it could stick the consumer with an interest charge.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before responding to a credit card offer:

  • 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. 

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a fraudulent credit card offer, should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.