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Credit card scammers have a new MO. Here’s how to spot them and protect yourself

By Brooke Villanueva Published Dec 03, 2020 3:52 am

A netizen’s post has gone viral on Facebook, where he shared that he almost got scammed via phone call.

The caller “knew my personal information beforehand, sounded like a customer service representative, used formal and technical words and phrases, and was adept at reassuring and convincing,” said the FB user.

Apart from falsely offering him “a new card design with enhanced security features, specifically a dual-chip card,” she also told him he “was eligible for a lifetime waiver of his annual fee.”

He knew it was a scam when she asked for his credit card’s “batch code” or CVV number.

NEW CREDIT CARD MODUS / SCAM . Today, I received a call from a woman claiming to be a representative from a credit card...

Posted by Dex Galban onTuesday, December 1, 2020

According to the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP), vishing is “a socially engineered technique used for stealing information or money from consumers using the telephone network” that puts together voice and phishing to convince others to provide their personal data to the caller.

“Voice phishing (vishing) scams use voice solicitation to get information or money from consumers or businesses,” the cyber security bulletin said. “The scammer calls the victim and attempts to use social engineering techniques to trick the victim into doing something, often to give credit or debit card details or send money.”

Apart from vishing, other credit card scams are done via SMS or e-mail.

How can you protect yourself from it? Keep an eye on notifications that say you are a target of illegal activity, stressed the ACG. “Rather than calling a given number in any unsolicited message, a consumer should directly call the institution named, using a number that is known to be valid, to verify all recent activity and to ensure that the account information has not been tampered.”

After playing along with the scammer, that’s exactly what the attempted victim of credit card fraud did. “I immediately called my credit card company using the number at the back of the card to verify if the call was legitimate and to inform them of the attempted fraud/scam. As suspected, it was a failed con,” he shared.

Other tips provided by the organization include using a different mobile phone to call them back, refusing to give sensitive information to the caller, and blocking automated calls.