Never give credit card numbers to telephone callers
Lassen County Undersheriff Si Bollinger gave that advice after hearing about a new credit card scam.
In the new scam, callers do not ask for a card number; they already have it.
The person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the security and fraud department at (credit card company). 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 credit 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 the card holder says "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?"
When the card holder says "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 and ask for security.
“You will need to refer to this control number.” The caller then gives you a six-digit number.
"Do you need me to read it again?"
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 seven numbers; the first four are part of the card number, the next three 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 three numbers to him. After you tell the caller the three 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 you card.”
What the scammers want is the three-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them.
To those who do give them the PIN, they ask, “Do you have any other questions?" After the card holder says, "No," the caller then says thank you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do," and hangs up.
The card holder is then charged $497.99 or other charges for fraudulent purchases.
Credit Card security departments confirm the scam and recommend telling anyone calling about a credit card account that you will call the credit card company directly for verification of any fraudulent activity. Bollinger agrees.
“That’s big business now,” the Undersheriff said of credit card fraud.
If you get a call from someone asking for credit card numbers, Bollinger recommended saying, “I’ll check through my already established phone numbers and the number on my bill.”
He said, “They just want your information. It’s easy enough to tell them, ‘I’m going to rely on the information on my bill. Bye.’”
Security departments verify they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card.
Those who give the scammers the three-digit PIN number may think they're receiving a credit. However, by the time the credit card statement arrives, it contains charges for purchases the card holder didn't make, and by then, it may be more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
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