Scams & Fraud

There seems to be an ever increasing number of scams and frauds that are brought to our attention.  These can take place through the internet, by phone or through the mail.  Here are a few clues to spotting a scam:

  1. You get something for nothing. This might be winning a lottery you didn't enter or having a rich relative you didn't know you had die and leave you all his money. If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
  2. Some part of the story takes place in, or a person involved is from a western African nation.
  3. If you are sent a check you were not expecting and are supposed to cash the check and send part of the money to someone via Western Union or MoneyGram... it is a scam.
  4. The email sent to you asking for information or telling you you won something does not have your name on it.  How did a legitimate business get your email address without knowing what your name is?
  5. Some part of the transaction takes place in Canada. It is likely to be a scam.



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. Are 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 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 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 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 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..

Some current popular scams:

Microsoft Call and Computer Scam

The Nigerian 419 Scams

International Lottery Scams.

Phishing Scams

Ebay Scams

Tax Refund Scams

*72 Telephone Scam

Secret Shopper Scam

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