Many major retailers and large companies have been the victims of massive security breaches lately, including Target and Anthem. As a result of these wide-scale hacks, many credit card numbers have been compromised and are now being sold on the black market. But the criminals obtaining credit card numbers are still unable to use them without the three to four-digit security code on the backs of the cards. To get them, credit card scammers are resorting to calling card holders and simply asking for the codes — but not without a bit of deception.
According to WWMT, news alerts and police reports have come in about credit card scammers pretending to be a credit card company calling to verify the three-digit code to confirm the identity of the customer. Scammers are imitating the policies of credit card companies who call customers to double-check large purchases on accounts to ensure the cardholder was actually responsible for the transaction. Many people have been tricked by these elaborate scams and have unknowingly offered up their security codes to criminals who already have the rest of their credit card information. At this point, the scammers are free to make purchases on the card without the consent of the customer.
Due to the security breaches, credit card scammers might know virtually everything else about you, including your name and address — and possibly even a social security number. But those three-digit security codes are the only thing standing in the way of major credit card fraud, which is why it’s important not to give out the code over the phone under any circumstance, according to ABC Chicago. The best advice in this situation is to immediately hang up the phone and notify your credit card company via the customer care number listed on the back of the card itself.
The accounts of people who have fallen victim to these credit card scams claim the phone calls sound very professional. The criminals on the other line are taking great measures to make the security verification request sound as official as possible.
“You answer the phone, they come on very courteous, good afternoon, I hope you’re not busy,” said a victim named Frances McCullough.
“They were saying it was like a fraud protection program,” said another victim, Pablo Flores.
Be alert and never give out personal information over the phone. Credit card companies will never ask you for your three-digit security code through a phone call.
[Image credit: Getty]