District Attorney

222 E. Weber Avenue
Second Floor, Room 202
Stockton, CA 95202
Phone: (209) 468-2400
Fax: (209) 465-0371

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San Joaquin County



Visa/MasterCard Fraud Scam Moving Across the Country

Be on the lookout for the latest in Visa / MasterCard fraud. This is happening in the Midwest right now but is spreading. It is pretty slick since they seem provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece THEY want.

Be aware: The callers will not ask you for your credit card number because they already have it. 

The scam begins with the person calling saying something like this:

This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA (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 (Mastercard) 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 to $497, which is 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 address correct?

(This is a red flag because Visa/MasterCard will not send you the credit – they credit your card!) When you say "Yes" the caller continues,

I will be starting a Fraud Investigation immediately. If you have any questions, you should call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number.

The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. They may even ask if you need them to read it again. After this, they move on to where they ask for the information they REALLY want. The caller then says,

I need to verify you are in possession of your card.

They will ask you to turn your card over and look for some numbers.

There are 7 numbers (MasterCard); the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. (VISA only has the last three numbers on the back 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 last 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, they will 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 in your possession. Do you have any other questions?

After you say no, the caller will thank you and reassuringly state,

Don't hesitate to call back if you do!

The caller will then hang up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the credit card number, so it seems legitimate. What the scammers wanted is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Never give it to them. Instead, tell them you will call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.

VISA or Mastercard will never ask for anything because they already know the information. They issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3-digit PIN number, you may be fooled into believing you are receiving a credit; however, by the time you get your statement you will see charges for purchases you did not make. By then, it's too late to prevent the theft and may be more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

If you receive a call like this first hang up, then report it to your local Police Department as well as call your issuing credit card company. This appears to be a very active scam, and evidently is quite successful.

This Fraud Alert was provided by: ScamNot.org