New phone scam circulates through the Okanagan

  • Feb. 3, 2011 12:00 p.m.

A new credit card scam is circulating through the Okanagan, and local Mounties are giving vulnerable residents a heads up.

“The Modus Operandi of this one is both clever and unique in that the caller provides the victim with almost all of the victim’s information except for one crucial piece,” said Const. Steve Holmes, in a press release.

“Their goal, however, is neither clever nor unique. They mean to rip you off.”

How it works is the caller states he or she is from a major credit card company, they provide a false badge number, and tell the victim that they have become aware of an unusual purchase pattern involving an expensive anti telemarketing device, from an Arizona based company.

They then ask the victim if they authorized this purchase.

“Invariably the customer will say they did not,” said Const. Holmes. “From there the fake customer rep will launch into a verification process, with the victim, of information about the victim and the victim’s credit card that the caller has previously obtained.”

Before hanging up, the caller will nonchalantly ask the victim for the three digit security number on the back of the card.

“This is the one piece of information the frauster needs in order to max out the victim’s credit card before the next statement is sent out.”

That means, by the time the victim receives their next credit card statement, the damage has been done.

If you receive a call that sounds anything like this, do not divulge your credit card’s security number. Instead, simply hang up.

“You need to know that your credit card company already knows everything about your card, including the security number, because they are the ones that created it and gave it to you in the first place,” he said.

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