Credit Cards

Urban legend about credit card security code phone scam

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We received a forwarded email this morning that included a story about someone being scammed by a caller posing as a credit card fraud investigator. Versions of this same story have been bouncing around the internet for a few years. Here are the basics:

A thief steals your credit card number somehow (from a statement, receipt or other source). In order to also get your 3 digit security code (also called a CVV) from the back of the card, they call you posing as a credit card fraud investigator.

The fraudster provides all sorts of official sounding case numbers and contacts before asking you to verify the three digit number on the back of your card. You give the caller the number thinking it is an official inquiry. Within a few hours, fraudulent purchases appear on your account and you are contacted by the real fraud investigators.

You can see a sample of the full email story online here. Since several different versions of this email are floating around it’s hard to gauge the authenticity. However, it does seem that there have been real reported cases of this kind of fraud occurring. It certainly is a plausible and effective scheme. The New York State Banking Department even went so far as to issue a press release about this scam.

What’s your vote? Is this a true story or an untrue urban legend? Share your feedback in the comments section below.

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