Visa and MasterCard Scam


The scam works like this:

"This is (name) and I am calling from the security and fraud department at VISA. My badge number is (numbers). 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) bank. Did you purchase an Ant-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 $297.00 to $497.00, just under the $500.00 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 #" The caller then gives you a six digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "He needs 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 your card number, the next three are the Security Numbers that verify you are in possession of the card. Read me the three numbers." After you tell the caller the three numbers, he'll say "That is correct. I just needed to verify that the card was not 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.

The Gloucester County Prosecutor has warned residents that three of the last seven numbers listed on the back of the card are actually a personal identification number and should not be given out. Real Credit Card Companies have that information.

If you have any questions regarding this, or any other related consumer fraud issues, please contact the Office of Consumer Protection at 856-384-6855 or the County Prosecutor Insurance Fraud Unit at 856-384-5645.

Harold H. Spence, Jr.