Credit Card Scam - Be Careful

07/31/2012

I have been advised that the following phishing scam is hitting the Midwest, including Missouri, with a vengeance.  Please be careful so you do not become a victim of the scam. 

Here is how it works.

A person calls you and says something like - 'This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA.  My Badge number is 12460.  Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify if you made this purchase.  This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank).  Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?'

 

When you say 'No', the caller continues with, 'Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?' You say 'yes'.

 

The caller continues - 'I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. 'Do you need me to read it again?'

 

What's interesting about this scam is that the caller until now has not asked you for any real information.  In fact, the caller already knows your name, type of credit card, bank where the card was issued and your address.

 

BUT HERE IS THE IMPORTANT part on how the scam works.  The caller will then say, 'I need to verify you are in possession of your card' or something to that effect.  The caller will ask you to 'turn your card over and look for some numbers.'  There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card.  These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.  The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers.  This is the only bit of information the caller wanted.   After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, 'That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card.  Do you have any other questions?'  After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, 'Don't hesitate to call back if you do', and hangs up.

 

You actually say very little, and they never ask for your the card number.  But after you give them the 3 digit numbers, purchases will be made to your account.  Never give your 3 digit PIN number on the back of the card to a caller. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.  A real credit card company will never ask for anything on your card as they already know this information since they issued the card to you.

 

Be careful and watch out.