Stopping the Scammers...

I got this little FYI from a co-worker that I consider a good friend, read it and please watch out for scammers...

The Holiday Season is just a little bit down the road and the bad guys are
already trying to get free stuff by using your credit.

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 and
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 'Master Card'. 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 next 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 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. Are we 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.

Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA
account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want 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

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 scammers 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 Master Card' 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. Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By
informing each other, we protect each other.


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