July 25, 2010
Marty gets a call on his cell phone about his credit card account. “This is Henry Day from the Security and Fraud Division at VISA. My badge number is 72935.”
Mr. Day continues, “Your account has been flagged because of an unusual purchase pattern on your VISA card number (and he gives Marty his correct card number). Did you make an electronics purchase for $494 from Jerry’s Big Box store recently?”
Marty answers, “No!”
“Then you’ll be issued a credit to your account which will be mailed to you at (caller gives Marty’s correct address). We will be initiating a fraud investigation concerning this purchase.”
If the call was legitimate, the charge would be reversed, not credited by mail. That should be a RED FLAG!
The bad guy continues, “If you have any questions, you should call us at 1-800-VISA and ask for security. You will need to refer to this control number...” and he gives Marty a meaningless long number.
Next comes the meat of the scam: The Scammer says, “I need you to verify that you are in possession of your VISA card. Please look on the back of your card and tell me the three numbers to the right of your signature line.” After Marty reads the three-digit security code, the Scammer says, “That’s correct.” He makes it sound like he already knew your security number. He did not! That’s why he called you.
You’ve now freely given information that enables Henry the Scammer to commit havoc with your credit card account.
When is it okay to give out security information on the telephone? Only when you, personally, initiate on-line or telephone contact. NEVER answer security questions when someone calls you. NEVER!
Please note that crooks use the same pattern of lies to scam Mastercard holders. You’ve got to be on guard at all times.
Posted by Bob Ford at 7/25/2010