There is a very slick credit card scam that’s currently active. The scammers do not ask for your card number because they already have it.
The scam works like this…
Someone calls saying, “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 a purchase 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?”
Naturally, you say ‘No,’
The caller continues with something like, “Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This purchase was just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards, but since it was an unusual purchase for you to have made it was flagged.”
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?”
Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works…
The caller then says, “I need ask you a question to verify your identity, is that alright?” Am I speaking to (he uses your name and your address), is that correct?”
You say, ‘Yes’.
The caller continues, “I also need to verify you are in possession of your card’ and he’ll ask you to turn your card over and look for some numbers. “Could you tell me what the last 3 are to verify you are the possessor of the card.”
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 questions?”
After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, “Don’t hesitate to call back if you do”, and hangs up.
This scam works well because the cardholder is asked to say very little, and never ask for their or name, address, only to verify what the callers says, and never asked for their credit card number. The assumption on the part of the cardholder is naturally that the call is legitimate because they already have all of their information.
It is likely your name, address and credit card number were either taken from a merchant’s hacked database, or snatched using a wireless credit card scanner. In both cases, the crooks gain all the information required to duplicate your card or make online purchases, except for the 3 digit security number on the reverse of the card. If you have received a call like this and gave the caller your 3 digit security code, you need to contact the card issuer immediately.