Subject: VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam
FYI and use. Please inform your cardholders.
Also, the scam is not limited to U. S. Bank cards
but also applies to Government Travel Charge Cards
and personal credit cards.
NGB GPC Program Manager
Subject: VISA & MASTERCARD Telephone Credit Card 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. Thanks to Dr. Pat Cloney
for passing this on. Those con artists get more creative every
My husband 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 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 #"
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, "he needs to verify you are in possession of your
He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers.
There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are your card number, the next 3
are the 'Security Numbers' that verify you are in possession of
the card. These are the numbers you use to make Internet purchases
to prove you have the card. Read me the 3 numbers". 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 charge on 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
scammers wants 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 direct. 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 to late and/or harder 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
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.