Be Aware – Sophisticated Scammer Approach


Recently the writer received a sophisticated approach from a scammer which worked like this:

On answering a phone call, the caller identified themselves as being from the security division of Visa/Mastercard (1) and asked had I purchased two items at 4:20am this day from a couple of on-line sites.  They instanced the purchases by amounts and identified the sites.

I said no, the caller then said he could not by law ask me for my card details (2) and I would need to contact my bank to dispute the transactions.  He gave me his name, employee ID and the TranCode of the transactions, then said to save me time he offered to transfer me to the bank which issued my credit card.

The phone rang for a few seconds, then a recorded voice came on the line saying that there would be a delay because of the large number of calls they were receiving at this time (3) and after a couple of minutes a male came on the line, identified himself by name and asked what was my problem.  I explained I had received a call from the security department of their card company advising that there were a couple of suspect transactions on my card.  He then began by asking questions about my account.  His manner made me suspicious, particularly as he did not answer with the name of the bank, so before giving any details I told him I was not happy and would call my credit card company direct.  There was a brief pause and he hung up.

I then called my credit card company which immediately identified the call as a scam.  They explained that once the bogus bank card security department had obtained my name, address and card details, including the CCV number, I would certainly have had some suspicious transactions on my card!

You can also report scams to Scamwatch.


  1. Visa and Mastercard are separate companies and each maintain their own security departments. Also in the case of suspicious transactions there would be call from the Falcon.
  2. If he was from the card security department as he stated, he would have already my card number. Telling me he could not ask for my card number was obviously to allay any concerns I may have had about the validity of the call.
  3. It would be very easy for a scammer to record one of these messages and insert it into their phone-answering procedure.