Montgomery City Police dept. report and commentary from Chief Phil Ahern
January 31, 2012 - 3:13pm — Anonymous
Scammers abound. Scammers are still out there attempting to separate honest folks from their money and good names. A local bank official sent me this information, which had been received from another bank branch. The scam has allegedly been checked by folks who keep track of such things and pronounced valid. The call sounds official.
A person calls you on the phone and says (probably from a script): “This is (gives a name) and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA (could be MasterCard). My badge number is 12460 (or some other number); your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card issued by (the name of the bank). Did you purchase and 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 (the caller gives your address). Is that correct?” Of course, you respond in the positive, since it is your address. Credits aren’t sent to your address, they appear on your account.
The caller continues, “I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions you should call the 1-800 number on the back of your card and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number.” The caller will then give you a 6-digit number and inquire, “Do you need me to read it again?”
Here’s how the scam works. The caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.” The caller will ask you to look at the back of the card and look for some numbers. You’ll be looking for 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of the card number and the last 3 are security numbers that prove you are the card holder. These 3 numbers are those you are sometimes asked to use when making internet purchases to prove you actually have the card.
The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers. When you tell the caller the 3 numbers, the caller will say, “That is correct. I just needed to verify the card has not been lost or stolen and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?”
You probably won’t have any questions at that time (remember the whole thing sounds very official). The caller will thank you, remind you not to hesitate to call if you have questions later, and end the call. The scammer is, of course, after the 3 digit security code. He or she or they already have your name, address, and credit card number, which in itself is spooky.
Here’s how you stop the scam. Don’t give any such personal information over the phone. Unless it’s your idea, your order, your contact, just plain DON’T! The credit card company already knows the numbers asked for because they issued the card. Tell the caller you’ll contact the credit card company yourself and hang up.
By way of review; Nigerian royalty or government officials don’t need your help getting money out of the country, and if you didn’t enter a lottery, you can’t win it.
Activity for the period January 16 through 22 included:
Importance to me: