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January 2004

Please Read For Your Protection.......

We all receive emails all the time regarding one scam or another; but today I received this email and thought it worth presenting to you as you do business on the internet. I have tried to shorten it for this post, but the basic warning is still intact.

This scam is currently being worked throughout the West, with some variance as to the product or amount, and if you are called, don't give the caller any information, just hang up. My personal feeling is you should check with your card issueing company as someone already has your card information, address, etc - they just need that code number on the back of your card...

It works like this: A person calls saying, "This is Carl Patterson (any name) and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud department at MASTER CARD or 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 MASTER CARD OR VISA card issued by 5/3 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 800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for Security. you will need to refer to this Control #".

Then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

Caller then says he "needs to verify you are in possession of your card".

Turn the card over. There are 7 numbers; first 4 are 1234 (whatever) the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are in possession of the card. These are the numbers you use to make Internet purchases to proove you have the card.

Read me the 3 numbers." Then he says "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? Don't hesitate to call back if you do."

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number.

Now, this is what COULD happen:

But after you were called on Wednesday, you called back within 20 minutes to ask a question.

The REAL MASTER CARD OR VISA security dept. tells you it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 WAS put on your card.

What the scam wants is the 3 digit number and that once the charge goes through, they keep charging every few days.

MASTER CARD AND VISA will never ask for anything on the card (they already know).