Beware Of This New Credit Card Scam

A New Kind of Scam

A new kind of scam is sweeping across the country. This time, the scammers are not calling to get your financial information. They have all the information. However, they are missing one piece of information, and they can't use your credit card without that. The objective of their call is to trick you to get that one piece of information from you. To gain your trust and sound real - the callers will provide you with all the information. Example:

Your Name
Your Date of Birth
Your Credit Card Number
Your Address
Your Issuing Bank
Etc, Etc.

The Piece of Information Scammers Missing

Take out your credit card from your wallet and look on the back of your card; you will see a 3 Digit PIN Number. You need this number to purchase online. This number works as a security shield. Online merchants will ask you this number to verify that you are the real owner. If someone hacked your information and trying to put through online purchases, they will not have this 3 Digit PIN Number as only the actual card holder can get this number by looking at an actual credit card. That's why the con artist on the other side of the phone is desperate to get this number from you.

A Mock Conversation with a Con Artist

Let me construct a mock conversation to give you an example, so you know what to expect from con artists. Remember, each situation is different and scammers will come up with new techniques to trick you. The phone call you will receive may be very different than this example. Always use your common sense as your guide to protect you.

Mr. Con: Hello, my name is John Smith, and I am calling form CITI Bank Master Card Canada
A. Dawn: Oh! Hello there
Mr. Con: Mr. Dawn, the reason of my call is to confirm if you have made a recent online purchase of $767
A. Dawn: Oh no! I haven't used this card for a few months!
Mr. Con: No worries, Mr. Dawn. We have been watching this company for some time, and we will block its transactions and will start a fraud investigation. We will credit your account for this trade and will issue you a new credit card. Let me read your credit card information to you to make sure this is the right card.

Credit Card Name: Citi Bank Master Card
Issuing Bank: Citi Bank Canada
Credit Card Number: 1234567
Expiry Date: January 10, 2011
Is that correct?
A. Dawn: Yes, that's right.
Mr. Con: Now, Mr. Dawn, let me give you my employee ID number at Citi Bank Master Card and also, I will give you a case number for this investigation. You need to write this down. Do you have any questions on anything Mr. Dawn?

A. Dawn: No, thanks. You guys are very active and helpful.
Mr. Con: Thanks for being a loyal customer. Before I go, for security reasons and your own protection, I need to verify that you are in possession of your card. There is a 3 Digit Number on the back of your card. If you could read that number to me.

A. Dawn: Oh! Sure. I see the on the back it shows 6 7 8
Mr. Con: That is absolutely correct. Thank you for you time Mr. Dawn and have a nice day.
A. Dawn: You too

What Happens Next

Mr. Con just got a hold of the missing piece of the puzzle, and he will start placing online purchases without delay.

Award-winning Invest Now covers a broad range of topics including Internet Scams. To purchase a copy, visit Chapters Indigo or click here to buy online - Invest Now: A Canadian's Guide to Investing

How to Protect Yourself

The best course of action to protect yourself from telephone scams would be to subscribe to Caller ID and screen your calls with voice mail or an answering machine. If you don’t recognize the phone number on your Caller ID, don’t pick up. Urgent callers will leave a message.

If you believe you have been a victim or someone has tried to scam you, call your local RCMP Detachment or the police service of jurisdiction in your area.

Report your situation on Reporting Economic Crime On-Line -

Remember, common sense and vigilance are your best defense.

First Published: May 19, 2008