A friend of mine is in another state wanting to pay my credit card. He says he needs my credit card number, name on card, username, password, and card limit. Is he trying to defraud me? Or does he really need all of this info to pay off my card?

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    Did your friend communicate this to you by speaking or writing? If the communication was written, someone may be impersonating him to get your information.
    – BaronFiner
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 5:19
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    All alarm-bells should be screaming at you. Username and Password are never ever ever required for anyone to do anything, other than trying to fraud you!
    – ssn
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 11:14
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    @BaronFiner Additionally, (not only) members of "Generation Y" seem to play fast and loose with the word "friend". So, Rene, did you ever meet this friend in person? Do you know anything about him or her, except what you were told by himself or herself? Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 13:50
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    Word should be out to everyone by now that you don't share passwords. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 20:29
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 8:52

4 Answers 4


This is no friend. The clue is that your user name and password aren't required.

I've made payments for my mother in law, and the card number, just the 16 digits on front, were enough to send a payment. No one writes their username and password on a check when they make a payment. Think about that.

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    In my opinion, wanting to know the limit seems the shadiest of this shady proposal.
    – BaronFiner
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 5:21
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    @BaronFiner - There are times, when talking to a friend about finances, that we might discuss specifics. "So how big an equity line did you set up?" might seems personal to most, but to best friends, no issue. "So, what's your log in ID and password"? Sorry, no. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 12:12
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    @JoeTaxpayer Definitely. Asking specifics like how big the line is/interest rate can be a pretty simple way to compare if one of us (between good friends, who know that they're at similar points w.r.t. income vs debt and such) is getting a decent plan or if one of us could be getting a better deal on cards (or if one of us is getting shafted).
    – Delioth
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 18:36
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    @joetaxpayer It seems reasonable in casual conversation when comparing, however, it is the least relevant piece of information for paying off a balance.
    – BaronFiner
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 20:17
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    You miss my note that one can pay a balance with no password? In fact paying balance from external account never needs it. That's the red flag. Redder and flaggier than credit limit. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 20:20

Your friend has unwittingly got a virus/malware on his computer which has read his contacts list and sent some or all of his contacts (including you) a message, pretending to be from him, asking you for these details. Don't break off the friendship, because he didn't do this deliberately; but don't send the information, because it won't go to him, it will go to the people controlling the malware that hijacked his computer, who will promptly drain your credit card account.

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    Yes, if the person in question is an actual friend (someone you know well other than just having met online,) this is probably the case. On the other hand, if it's an online 'friend,' they're likely the guilty party and are no friend at all, but rather a scammer.
    – reirab
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 4:23
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    I don't think this is a good answer, it's making a pretty big assumption/guess and basing the response on that. Now the OP may just try to confirm that the friend is who they say they are (ex. asking something only they would know) and if so they may think it's ok to give them the information.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 17:04
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    @DasBeasto plot twist: He is not making any assumptions, he knows exactly what is going on because he was the scammer all allong !
    – b0fh
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 8:04
  • @DasBeasto yes it's a hypothesis, but it's what I would assume if I received this as an email - and I do get to see a lot of scam emails. Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 9:37
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    Best advice for any weird query you get through unsolicited email is to contact the party in question via some other path (not email, and not any link, phone number, or web address found within the email).
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 18:27

That's what "friend" means.

The very definition of a friend is someone who knows you well, you know well, can be presumed to help you move**, and would never rip you off.

If you are not properly using the word "friend", stop! Language is the shared medium by which we communicate. It only works if we share meanings. If you say "friend", we have to take that at face value, based on the common meaning. (mind you: some nasty people manipulate/condition others to use words that don't fit. If someone asks you to use words like "friend", then scam alert.)

So, assuming it's legit...

They have no use whatsoever for your password or any of your details, and that's fishy. If they really want to pay your bill, all they need is a copy of your payment slip - you know, the tear-off section of the first page of your paper or PDF bill. That doesn't even have your account number on it. The most gracious interpretation is they are XY'ing: confusing the desired task with a particular way to do that task.

Social media sites don't help at all, using words like "friend" to mean nothing but the most tenuous connection. We also see people use the word "girlfriend" to describe someone they have only known by text message, and have never heard their voice, do not know their last name, and are actually being catfished for money. We see it everyday on travel.se.

** A friend will help you move.
A real friend will help you move a body.
But the truest friend will help you move BOOKS.

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    +1 from me Harper. The word used to have a specific meaning. The internet has really changed this. That's what IRL is about, we need to differentiate "in real life" from those we feel we know very well, but on line. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 20:26
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    @JoeTaxpayer Considering the number of people who get deceived and ripped off by "friends" in real life, whether you've seen someone in real life or not seems a pretty arbitrary (one might say old-fashioned) marker for someone being a real friend or not. After all, just because you know someone in real life wouldn't make them asking for username and password any less worrisome, right?
    – Voo
    Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 20:43
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    @JoeTaxpayer, no, don't you get it?! If you get scammed on the internet, you get scammed in REAL LIFE!
    – Wildcard
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 21:28
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    What does "move books" mean in this context?
    – svgrafov
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 11:20
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    @svgrafov when you are moving houses or whatever, the truest friends are the ones who will help carry your extremely heavy boxes of books
    – Stephen S
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 12:47

The information your friend asked for is not necessary for fixing your payment related problems but having all information can actually create even bigger problem. So be careful with this scenario.

First of all did you really have problems and need help? How do your friend know paying on behalf of you will clear your problem. What is the way he asked this information? Over phone? Personally? By Email or other electronic means of communication? When did you last meet your friends face to face? Do you have any kind of financial transaction with your friend in past?

With other common sense about financial transaction and friendship in modern society there are many different ways to ends up this.

If you want me to positive about your friend any of description might match:-

  1. You shared your financial problems with that friend or some way get to know that you need him and help you.
  2. He really wants to pay your debts and his poor knowledge on hazards he just placed himself on your place and asked your information to pay.
  3. According to his poor understanding on consequences he just asked ALL INFORMATION of your cards, never give second thoughts on sensitive information which should not shared by any means. Even to a bank issued those security features. Lots of people think as bank know all the information of cards they issued. There's valid reasons for issuers knows issued information. Like you create your Wi-Fi password and without knowing that how you can share. Unfortunately Banks are not operated like way your Wi-Fi system works.

If I came out from positive and reality in mind, just deny taking helps from your friend and carefully continue your life forward.

There are some other things a good friend should consider on such events, Did he/she information personally or remotely? If remote request was made for information immediately information him about it and ask for explain why those information needed just to bring you out from problem. Tell him people need that to create problems not to fix.

You should actually talk with him directly as to confirm that he is safe and not asking you for information on behalf of other party using him in middle ether by force or by technically.


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