Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Scambusters - Telephone Visa Scam

Here is an e-mail I received recently outlining another scam - PolPop

Dear all,

Thought you might be interested in this. The information was received from a C&E employee in the Derby Office. Please pass it on as you see fit.

A Friend in the Halifax Visa team reported the following: Visa and MasterCard Scam. A friend was called on the telephone this week from ‘VISA’ and I was called on Thursday from ‘MasterCard’.

It worked like this: Person calling says, ‘this is Carl Patterson', (any 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. Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Company a device/any expensive item, for £497.99 from a marketing company based in (any town?.' 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 (they give 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 0800 number listed on your card and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control number. They then give you a 6-digit number. ‘Do you need me to read it again?
Caller then says he ‘needs to verify you are in possession of your card’ (this is where the scam takes place as up until now they have requested nothing!). They then ask you to turn your card over.

There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are 1234 (or whatever, as they have your number anyway).

The next 3 are the security numbers that verify that you are in possession of the card’ (these are the numbers they are really after as these are the numbers you use to make internet purchases to prove you have the card).
‘Read me the 3 numbers.’ When you do he says ‘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? Don’t hesitate to call back if you do.’

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we telephoned 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 put on our card. Long story made short.

We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA card and they are reissuing us a new number. What the scam wants is the 3-digit number and that once the charge goes through, they keep changing every few days. By the time you get your statement, you think the credit is coming, and then it’s harder to actually file a fraud report.
What makes this even more remarkable is that on Thursday I got a call from ‘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), and they said they are taking several
of these reports daily and to tell friends, relatives and co-workers so please pass this on to your friends................


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