New, clever credit card scam making the rounds
There’s a clever credit card scam making the rounds in AZ and elsewhere; it’s clever because they already have your credit card number (skimmed from a gas station, restaurant, wherever) but they don’t have the 3 digit security code that’s on your card. The scammers pose very convincingly as the Fraud Dept. of VISA or MasterCard in an attempt to get those numbers.
By understanding exactly how thisTelephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. First thing to know: the scammers follow the exact same script that real VISA & MasterCard Fraud departments follow:
The person calling says, “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. This concerns your VISA card that 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.”
Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works: the caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.” He'll 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 that you must often use to make Internet purchases. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers on your card to him. 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.”
The caller continues, “I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number.” The caller then gives you a 6 digit number and reassures you, “Don't hesitate to call back if you have questions” and hangs up.
The REAL Visa & MasterCard Security Departments advise that they never ask for any information on your card -- they already know the information, since they issued the card. Under no circumstances, give out any of your card number to a Credit Card Fraud Department that calls you. Hang up and call the credit card’s security department or tell the scammers you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification. Common credit card fraud is also detailed on https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes/credit-card-fraud.