Beware of Slick Credit Card Scam

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It is always alarming to hear from your credit card that a suspicious transaction has taken place. What is even more alarming is that now, Scammers are preying on credit card holders and pretending to be helpful.

The scam works like this, a person calls, identifying themselves with the
Security and Fraud Department at VISA or MasterCard even offering their badge number! They explain that there has been an unusual purchase that was flagged on the consumer’s card. They go on to tell the consumer about the fraudulent purchase, an Anti-Telemarketing Device that cost just under $500. The caller is very believable and has your account number and address, and explains that a Fraud investigation will take place. They even provide the telephone number for the credit card security department and provide you with a control number to track the investigation.

Then, they ask the question that allows them to make the scam happen. They already have your card number and your address, what they lack is the three-digit security code on the back of the card near your signature. In an effort to ease the consumer, they tell them that they need to verify this number to assure that the card has not been stolen. When you provide the security code, they have full access to your account.

With scams like this, consumers MUST be vigilant, take these steps to protect yourself:
•Check credit card statements and bills to make sure that charges are accurate.
•Do not provide or confirm any personal information or provide credit card numbers over the phone to someone you did not call or do not know.
•Place passwords on your credit and debit cards, bank accounts, and phone or online accounts, and don’t carry them with you!
•Have your photo placed on your credit and debit cards. This can be done through your bank or credit card company.
•Do not carry more credit cards or pieces of information than you need such as a passport, social security number, or birth certificate.

If you feel that you are receiving phone calls or mail related to a scam, contact the North Carolina Attorney General’s office at 1-919-716-600 or 1-877-5NO SCAM (1-877-566-7226)

If you have questions about identity theft or other money matters, contact Jayne McBurney, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent at the Johnston Cooperative Extension Office, at 919-989-5380 or by e-mail at

Written By

Photo of Jayne McBurneyJayne McBurneyTechnology & Social Media (919) 515-3762 jayne_mcburney@ncsu.eduAgricultural and Human Sciences - NC State University
Posted on Mar 10, 2014
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