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New Bern Police Issue Warning

The New Bern Police Department says a new Visa and Mastercard scam is tricky because the scammers are looking for such little information. Police say the scammers already have the victim's account number and address, and they just need the sercurity code off their banking cards to steal their money. Police say people have been getting calls from people claiming to work in the fraud department of Visa or Mastercard, saying their card has been flagged for an unusual purchase. The scammer tells the victim a bogus purchase of $497.99 has been made, and says a credit for that amount will be issued to the account. Because the caller already has the victim's address and account number, people may be more willing to believe they work for visa or mastercard....and more willing to tell their security code when asked for it. Police say, never give out personal information over the phone or internet.

Here is the full press release from New Bern Police:

The New Bern Police Department is warning citizens of a new Visa and Mastercard scam that asks for little personal information because the scammers already have the victim’s account number and address. The scam is an attempt to retrieve security code information from banking cards. Victims have reported receiving calls from someone who claims to work for the security and fraud departments of Visa and Mastercard. The victim is told their card has been flagged for an unusual purchase and needs to be verified. The scammer tells the victim a bogus purchase of $497.99 has been made, and says a credit for that amount will be issued to the account. The caller says proof of the credit will be sent to the victim’s address, and the caller, who already knows the address, verifies the location with the victim. Victims are given a six-digit control number and instructed to call the customer service number on the back of the card if they have more questions. The scammer then says the victim must verify that the card has not been lost or stolen and that the victim is in possession of the card. The caller asks for the last three numbers on the back of the card, which are security numbers most Internet sites require a user to enter when making online purchases. The New Bern Police Department warns everyone this is a fraudulent attempt to receive personal information from victims.
It is important to remember to never release personal information over the phone or Internet. Victims of this scam have contacted VISA, and the company has said they will never ask for banking information over the phone, as the information is already available to them because they issued the card. If you have been the victim of this type of activity or have any questions you should directly contact VISA or Mastercard for further instructions. The New Bern Police Department is committed to Community Policing. Citizens are encouraged to become a “Partner in Policing,” by reporting suspected illegal activity to the New Bern Police Department’s TIPS line at (252) 636-5034 or the Craven County Crime Stoppers line at 633-5141. For additional information, please contact Beth Stevenson, Public Information Officer at the New Bern Police Department at (252) 672-4211.
Frank Palombo, Chief of Police


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