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It seems no number of stern warnings is too many when it comes to safeguarding your finances. Staying a step ahead of scam artists can be a challenge given the increasingly sophisticated delivery they use on potential victims. That said, a healthy stockpile of suspicion can always be helpful.

The Sooke RCMP have forwarded a facsimile of the scam described below.

With this recent telephone scam, remember, above all else, to keep personal information to yourself!

Here’s how the scam works:

Your phone rings and the caller says they are with the Security and Fraud department at VISA. They supply their badge number and declare that your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern and they’re calling to verify.

If you haven’t terminated the call by this point, they’ll ask if you’ve made a certain purchase, for example, an anti-telemarketing device for $497 from a company in Arizona.

You say no. The caller says a corresponding credit will be issued to your account. They say it will be mailed to you before your next statement and they read off your address. Correct? You say “yes.”

The caller says they’ll start a fraud investigation, but they need the last three digits from the seven-digit number on the back of your card. If you tell them the numbers, or make some up, they’ll likely say, “That is correct, I just needed to verify the card has not been lost or stolen.

VISA will never ask you for this kind of information as they have it already since they issued the card. Mastercard holders are reportedly being preyed upon in a similar way.

The moral – deal with this type of caller in anyway you choose, but don’t give them what they ask for. The sooner you hang up the better.

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