Thursday, February 3, 2011

BEWARE of the latest SCAM!!!

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Royal Bank received this communication about the newest and most clever scam that's happening in Alberta, Canada right now, and moving south....possibly to the San Francisco Bay Area!
Two of Royal Bank's clients were called by potential scammers two days ago, while an old college friend of mine who lives in Danville, California, received a similiar call just yesterday afternoon!
The warning information I'm about to share is well worth reading, so you can understand how this latest VISA/Mastercard scam works in order to protect yourself!
This one is so slick that they provide YOU with all your credit card information, never asking for your card number, because they already have it! What they want is your 3-digit security PINcode.
The scam works like this: A person calls you and says..."This is (their name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA.  My badge number is 65432, and your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern that I'm calling you to verify."
"This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (so and so bank). Is that correct?"  When you say 'YES' they ask...."Did you happen to purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a company based in Arizona?"
When you say 'NO', the caller continues...."Then we will be issuing a credit to your account.  We've been tracking this particular company, and their charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern which flags most cards."
"Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to you at (they give your address), is that correct?"  You say 'YES'.
Then the caller says...."I'll be starting a Fraud Investigation.  If you have any questions, just call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800 VISA), and ask for Security".  "You will also need a 6-digit control number I'm about to give you.  Yours is (gives a number).  Do you need me to repeat it?"
Now, here is where the IMPORTANT part of the scam works!  The caller then says...."I just need to verify that you are in possession of your card." 
 Then, the caller asks you to turn your card over and look at the 7-numbers on the back, noting the first 4 are part of your card number, while the last 3 are the security code numbers that verify you are in possession of the card. (These are the same numbers we use to make internet purchases) 
The caller asks you to read those last 3 numbers, and when you do....they say--"Right, that is correct!  I just needed to verify that your card has not been lost or stolen. Do you have any other questions?"
When you say 'NO', the caller thanks you and tells you not to hesitate to call back if you need any further information, and then hangs up!
Interestingly, YOU aren't required to say much at all during the call, except those 3 little numbers which they don't already know...the ones that can end up taking your money and damaging your credit! Here's how!
After a fraud call taken early this week by a Royal Bank customer, they smartly called back within 20-minutes, and the REAL VISA Security Department told them it was a scam, and that over the past 15-minutes a new purchase of $497.99 had been charged to their account!  OUCH!!
Fortunatly, VISA quickly made a real fraud report, closed the account, and issued a new card to the victim. It's a good thing they called back when they did!
REMEMBER,  what the scammers want is the 3-digit pin number on the back of your card. DO NOT give it to them!  Instead, tell them you will call VISA or Mastercard directly to verify thier conversation!
In reality, neither VISA nor Mastercard would ever ask for anything on your card.  They already know it.  They issued the card!
However, if you give scammers that 3-digit code thinking you're going to receive a credit, you're in for an expensive shock!  By the time you get your statement, odds are there will be multiple charges for purchases you never made, and by then it will be too late to file an effective fraud report.
IF you receive a call like this, HANG UP immediatly and file a police report, as instructed by VISA. 
 Apparently, several police agencies including those in Santa Clara County,  have already taked several similiar fraud reports, and they ALL URGE us to tell everyone we know about this scam! 
That's why I hope you are reading this blog now, because this latest scam appears to be extremely effective and clever!
Thanks, and stay smart on the internet by logging on to gateway to Streetwise Special Delivery.
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