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Credit Card Scam Warning
updated: Feb 04, 2014, 10:00 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

This is a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving across the country.

This one is pretty slick, since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.

This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from 'VISA', and I was called on Thursday from 'MasterCard'.

The scam works like this:

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 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?'

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 you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers 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, 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 or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. We were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.

The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information, since they issued the card! If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a 'Jason Richardson of MasterCard' with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain, and so on through the above routine.

It appears that this is a very active scam, and evidently quite successful... Pass this on to all your family and friends.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 492026 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:03 AM

This was a very helpful tip, but more people would probably read it if you edited it for brevity.


 COMMENT 492028 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:06 AM

Thank you!


 COMMENT 492034P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:16 AM

If someone call and claims they are from VISA hang up. VISA, as confirmed on their website, never calls customers and never asks for the 3 digit security code.

Per their site: http://usa.visa.com/personal/security/learn-the-facts/mail-and-phone-fraud.html

How can I reduce my risk of phone and mail fraud scams?
It's important for consumers to know that Visa will not call or e-mail cardholders to request their personal account information. Visa call centers do not initiate outbound telemarketing calls. If you receive such a call, hang up. Report any suspicious calls or emails by calling the number on the back of your payment card or by contacting the FTC’s Complaint Assistant. Cardholders should also know that Visa's zero liability* fraud policy ensures that they are not held responsible for any unauthorized purchases.


 COMMENT 492038 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:22 AM

Ugh, scams like this make it hard for those that ACTUALLY work for the company and make calls like this. My boyfriend works for a lending company and when he tries to call his clients they get suspicious thinking he's a scam because of jerks like this.


 COMMENT 492040P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:25 AM

I never give any information to people who have initiated the calls or emails with me. Instead, I hang up or ignore the email, then call the company or log onto the company's web site and proceed from there. Otherwise, you never know who you are actually communicating with.


 COMMENT 492043 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:33 AM

I really hope I get this call. I'd love to waste some of the scammers time by playing extremely dumb and making them chase their tail.


 COMMENT 492044 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:34 AM

O woww! That is one slick scam. Other than the fact that i will usually hang up on anyone who requests any personal info this sounded really con-vincing. Sounded like they got hold of an actual costomer service script. Great post.


 COMMENT 492049 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:46 AM

Are they calling landlines or cell phones? I wonder if there are ways to trace numbers? Also, the card companies if they suspect fraud will call with a prerecording asking you to call them back. I've had it happen to me. That ensures security.


 COMMENT 492050P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:46 AM

I have received calls in the past from my credit card companies notifying me of possible fraudulent activity--not scam calls, real calls. But they didn't ask for information from me, rather advised me to call the phone number on the back of the card to speak with someone. Having been a fraud victim in the past, I've been glad of the warning calls.

I wonder if these scammers might have got the cc numbers from the Target hack incident....


 COMMENT 492094 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 12:30 PM

050's conjecture make sense. Phone and card number get hacked from Target or wherever and the only thing they need for an internet shopping spree is the CVV code on the back of the card itself.


 COMMENT 492108P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 12:55 PM

Thanks for sharing the warning. If it is a real call, they won't mind having you call the 800 # listed on the back of the card and ask for their specific extension to continue the conversation. Simple fix.


 COMMENT 492130 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 01:26 PM

Simple way to avoid this and all phone scams - I never ever answer my phones unless I know whom is calling (and I want to talk to that person). You have to be choosy about that stuff - I don't like breaks in my paper chase anyhow.


 COMMENT 492172 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 03:21 PM

The only reason US credit card companies are not switching to the much more secure chip embedded cards is a mere $8 per card cost. C'mon...the technology is there, USE IT!


 COMMENT 492175 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 03:35 PM

Those digital chips don't work for online purchases.


 COMMENT 492191 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 04:29 PM

That was really useful, and I appreciated the detailed presentation..let me know what to expect.


 COMMENT 492193 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 04:42 PM

@172, chip-and-pin cards cost less than $1.35 each and are even cheaper in quantity. They are also commonly used as ID cards. The card readers are basically a card slot with copper fingers that contact the card's embedded microchip, which looks like the SIM card in an AT&T cellphone. If it's good enough for the rest of the World, it's good enough for the USA. Well, except for the metric dimensions, hahaha.


 COMMENT 492201 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 05:10 PM

094 i thought that too


 COMMENT 492209P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 05:47 PM

On January 21, 86 year old my father-in-law sent an email to me that warned of a credit card scam. I checked it out on snopes.com and it was verified as TRUE.

When I read this post this morning, I thought it sounded very familiar, so I checked my email. Sure enough, this post is identical to the email I received. I just went to snopes again and found that they had verified this in July 2011. http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/creditcard.asp

While I think it is beneficial to share these scams, I think it is important to be up front about whether we have personal experience (locally) or tell from where we get our information.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 07:02 PM

209P--You mean the language is identical, word for word? If so, ugh, what you said, people ought to be up front.

But if it's just the outline of what happened that's the same, maybe it's something that is still going on, and the OP really experienced it.


 COMMENT 492257 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 08:46 PM

Identical, word for word. And Snopes says it was collected from the internet in 2003 - eleven years ago.
It is deemed by Snopes to be true.
Still, seems like edhat ought to be a place for posting legit personal experiences.


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 09:55 PM

I guess someone just wanted to start a little firestorm. Not so nice.


 COMMENT 492272P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-04 10:48 PM

209P here. Thanks MtnDriver and 257. I wasn't really sure if anyone else would see this as I did. It is word for word the same. Right down to the intro the OP used to make it sound like a personal experience.

I think it is creepy to do it this way. I mean, why didn't the OP post that he'd or she'd heard about this scam and it sounds like it could really happen? A nice warning for people to be careful, you know? Sheesh.


 SANDYINSB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-05 06:58 AM

I have received a phone call like this - from American Express. It was for a small purchase (music from the i-Tunes store, but it originated in New York), so they knew something was up. They never asked for any information about me, my card numbers, or addresses. They have this info. They just asked if I had made the charge, then cancelled the card and FedEx'd me a new one. I love American Express. It's the only card I use. I also have alerts set up on my AmExp card. They send me an e-mail or text message whenever I buy something over $100.00 or make a purchase is made without my card present. (like automatic payments or purchases on-line). I never worry about fraud.


 COMMENT 492290 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-05 07:42 AM

A legitiamte caller from your credit card servicer will be able to tell you the exact amount to the penny of the last five purchases you've made using the card, the name of the merchant (which may be unfamiliar - some merchants are incorporated under a different name than the one on their store front) and the city of the purchase (which again may be unfamiliar - some chain stores clear credit cards through a central account in another state and some mom & pop stores use a bank in the next town). If the caller can't give you all of this accurately without stammering, they are trying to scam you.

And yes cards with electronic features (either the ones with gold contact pads or RFID links) do improve security a lot when used widely because they hold a lot more info than a mag stripe or an embossed account number - not all info is used on every transaction so a scammer who skims the info from one transaction is unlikely to be able to use it efficiently for fraud.


 COMMENT 492436 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-06 06:05 AM

The scam is real but, as MTNDRIVER and others determined above, the OP is running a hoax of sorts here ... this is NOT something that happened to the OP, it's a report that -- word-for-word -- is repeated from another source that wrote it many years ago.


 COMMENT 492439 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-06 07:21 AM

This is embarrassing. I forwarded this post to a friend believing this actually happened to the OP. I guess that puts me down a rung on credibility.


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