I feel like I should be sending out some kind of chain email, telling you to pass this on to everyone you care about because it’s true. But it is.
Over the weekend, someone pretty close to me received a phone call very early in the morning, claiming to be “Visa” and reporting that his Visa debit card had been deactivated due to fraud and that he needed to provide some information to reactivate it. In the blur of being woken early with a phone call and the confusion about potential fraud, he provided his card number, expiration date and PIN to the automated system.
Clearly this type of thing can happen to anyone, especially when the call comes during the early morning hours, before you might be thinking there are criminals out to get your credit card information. Just remember, your bank will never ask you for your PIN number -they will verify your identity using other information.
Since that early morning, successful phishing attempt, he made a second call to his bank and had the card canceled. Because of the quick action, no misuse of the card number or PIN had occurred.
Also, when in doubt about a call not initiated by you regarding your credit cards, inform the caller that you will call back and ask which department you should be contacting. Then hang up and call the customer service number on the back of your card.
This has been a public service announcement. Stay safe and keep an eye on your wallet.