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FYI: I thought this email from Dennis Stevens was worth passing on---
The original email significantly edited by Andrew for


This information is worth reading.

See this site -

The VISA & Master Card Telephone Credit Card Scam tries to steal your credit authorization. It's a type of scam called "phishing." This example is dangerously slick since they provide you with all the information, except the one piece they want.

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By understanding how the VISA & Master Card Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number, they already have it.

The scam works like this: Caller: "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA (or MasterCard). 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 $297.00 to $497.00, just under the $500.00 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." (This is the actual Visa phone number.) ed.

"You will need to refer to this Control Number." says the scammer. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?" they ask.

Here's the important part of 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 next 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 3 numbers to him. Do Not Give the crook your PIN code!

If 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 .

"We actually said very little." said the Commissioner. "They never asked for the card number. About 20 minutes after we were called, we called VISA back, 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 charged to our card.

The Commissioner then made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA reissued a new number to him.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them.

Tell them you are too busy and that you will call VISA or Master Card later to verify the credit.

The real VISA states that they will never ask for any info on the card. They already know all the information. They issued the card!

When victims give the scammers their 3 digit PIN number, they think they are receiving a credit. Unfortunately, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make! By then it's almost too late and more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

This scam is so prevalent you may receive a word-for-word repeat of the "VISA Scam" a few days later. You are not obligated to let them finish. Hang Up! File 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.

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.


D. Kent Michie, Commissioner
Utah Insurance Department
State of Utah


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