Code Food Travel repeat!

Avoid a credit card scam

My mom sent me this in the mail 4 years ago, but I think it is just as relevant today. Heads up!

The scam works like this:
The person calling says, “this is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. 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 to $497, 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 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. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6-digit number. “Do you need me to read it again?”

Here’s the Important part on how the scam works.
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; 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 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. 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.

DONT GIVE THEM THE 3 Digit pin. Instead, tell them you’ll call directly for verification of their conversation. VISA or MasterCard will never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information since they issued the card.

About Steven Chu

Hi, I'm Steven! I'm an entrepreneur, photographer and art director in New York. Follow this blog for self expression, fun, and most importantly: looking comfortable, at ease, and amazing in your photos no matter who takes them! I dedicate this to my amazing friends who have let me inadvertently turn all of our hangouts and travel photos into a never ending photoshoot of fun. The proof is in the pudding-- our photos rock. My other projects: I'm the founder of, a face-to-face tech concierge service for NYC. Book a techie to walk you through something you want to learn! My work focuses on socially engaged art projects which use technology to create access to resources for communities. Visit Steven Chu Studio ( for branding & design work or Steven Chu ( for photography projects.

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