Beware of Credit Card Fraud

This was posted on a bulletin board that I frequent and should be of interest:

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & Master Card Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from ‘VISA’, and I was called on Thursday from ‘Master Card’.


The scam works like this: 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.’ He’ll 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, he’ll 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.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

Long story – short – we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them.

Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!

If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

Note from Joyce: After attending a big tradeshow where I place lots of large orders, I usually get a call from my credit card company checking for fraud. The difference between the call I get and the above narrative is that the company does not ask for any credit card information. They only ask if I made such and such a charge and I say Yes or No. So far, they have all been Yes. So make sure that you don’t give these thieves any of the information from te credit card itself.

Country Wisdom For Life and Business

I don’t know who wrote this as there was no credit given when I first read and saved it back in 2004.  But it’s a fun list of “One Second Lessons for Both Life and Business:

  1. Don’t name a pig you plan to eat.
  2. Life is not about how fast you run, or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.
  3. Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps
  4. Trouble with a milk cow is she won’t stay milked.
  5. Words that soak into your ears arewhispered, not yelled.
  6. Meanness don’t happen overnight
  7. Never lay an angry hand on a kid or an animal; it just ain’t helpful.
  8. Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.
  9. Don’t sell your mule to buy a plow.
  10. Don’t corner anything meaner than you.
  11. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  12. You can’t unsay a cruel thing.
  13. Every path as some puddles.
  14. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
  15. Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.
  16. Most of the stuff people worry about never happens.

I’m sure that you could add many, many more “One Second Wisdoms” to the list.  Feel free to add yours in the comments.

Business Advice From A Great Industrialist

Here is a “One Minute Wisdom” piece of advice from American industrialist Henry Ford.

A Market is never saturated with a good product, but it is very quickly saturated with a bad one!”

henry-fordThis little bit of wisdom has been forgotten as greed has overtaken and passed intregrity in just about every industry in the world, including our own.  Bad mortgage deals, homes that are beyond one’s affordability, and greedy bank CEO’s and regulators have toppled the banking world.  Failure to remember this industrailist’s advice has permitted foreign automobiles to be preferred over ones made in the US.  But they are not alone.

How about the greed of a peanut processor that destroyed many businesses who had to recall millions of dollars of products?  Even our own gift industry has seen the internet overrun with unscrupulous websites created that provide inferior products, poor or non-existent customer service, and a poor shopping experience.

The gift industry is a valuable one but we must remember Henry Ford’s words if we want to be a long-term industry rather than a flash in the pan.