By now, you should know that answering any email with personal account information is a Bad Idea. But I just got word about another scam (although it’s not particularly new). And this one is insidious, especially because it comes from a scammer who CALLS YOU ON THE PHONE, pretending to be a member of the fraud division. Snopes.com offers an in-depth look at this scam:
The scam as described above is not extraordinarily difficult or expensive to pull off; all it requires is access to a telephone and the establishment of a merchant account for processing credit card transactions. It also assumes the scammer already has the names, addresses, phone numbers, and credit card numbers (plus expiration dates) of his victims, but that information might be obtained in a variety of ways…
With stories of break-ins and hacks of such places as ChoicePoint that store this information, it is not a stretch that someone could get their hands on it. The only thing that such a scammer would need is the three-digit security code on the back of your card. And that’s what this scam is after. The caller sounds professional, and gives a badge number and a name. S/he tells you that they are investigating fraudulent charges, and that you need to verify that you still have your card. You do this by giving your security code.
If this happens, do not give the code over the phone. Credit card companies won’t ask for it in that way. If you are suspicious, call the number on the back of your credit card and ask about the call.
And remember: ‘Tis the season for more scams. Watch out for charity scams and other scams that could lead to identity fraud.