Consumer Alert: Scammers pose as fraud investigators

That "fraud investigator" on the phone might actually be trying to defraud you.

It’s a new scam making its way across the country.

Someone calls, claiming to be from Visa or MasterCard, and says they've detected some suspicious activity on your account.

The caller is after that three to four digit CVV security number on the back of your card.

According to Carebridge Corporation, the caller asks something like, "Did you purchase a $497.99 anti-telemarketing device?"

You say, “No.”

The caller says they'll cancel the charges and open a fraud investigation. Then they add, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.”

The caller asks for the last four digits of your credit card number, and the CVV number on the back of the card.

A few weeks ago, Scam Expert Steve Weisman explained how important that number is for making purchases.

“To prevent the online credit card theft, they should be using that security code more often, that CVV number,” says Weisman.

According to the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT, this is a new variation on a credit card scam the BBB has seen before.

The BBB says it’s possible the scammer already had your name, address, and credit card number from a data breach. Now all they need is the security code to use the card.

The BBB warns:

  • Never give your credit card number or the extra security code to someone who has called you.
  • If you get a call from the fraud department of your credit card, ask THEM to give YOU information to verify that they are the real deal. For instance, you can ask for the last several transactions and the amounts.
  • If you have any doubts of the authenticity of the call, hang up and call the customer service number on the back of your credit card and follow the instructions for reporting fraud.
  • Check your credit card statements online frequently; don’t wait for your monthly statement.

If you get one of these calls, report it to the BBB using their ScamTracker. Click here to learn more.

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