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This was forwarded to me from retmar, who is still trying to get his kitchen remodeled. He says a big "hi" to everyone.

This is a popular email (may or may not be a chain email), but there's some truth to this:

If somebody does have access to your credit card number, all they would need is the 3-digit verification code (the CVC2 / CVV2 code from the back of your card) to make online purchases.

Another reason to remain vigilant!


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 Clooney for passing this on. Those con artists get more creative every day.

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 , 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 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 card".

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 n umbers". 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 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 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 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 too 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 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.

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Thanks for posting that.

It's the telephone version of e-mail Phishing. The card was probably skimmed at a restaurant or some place and then they just needed the three digit number.

I think a general rule of thumb is to be suspicious of all incoming phone or e-mail communications. If I wanted to reply to a call like that I would tell the caller that I would call the toll free number on the back of the card and be transferred to the fraud department. I would ask the callers full name and what office they are calling from. If it's a scam they will probably hang up at this point.

The bad thing about having to have the credit card re-issued with a new number is it will effectively be a new account and that will reduce the average age of accounts a little. That will drop their credit score a bit.

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