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BBB Alert: MasterCard Phone Scam Hits Northern Illinois

Posted by Admin On July - 17 - 2015

CHICAGO, IL – Another phone scam has resurfaced in northern Illinois. Consumers have reported that they are receiving automated messages stating their MasterCard has been hacked and that they need to call and verify their information so that a new card can be issued. The Better Business Bureau is alerting consumers to these calls and warns that if an automated system calls asking for credit card information it’s probably a scam.

Caroline Whaley of Stillman Valley, IL says that she, her husband, daughter and son-in-law have all received separate calls. “It’s a recorded message that gave instructions to press “1” to speak to an operator, but because the number on the caller I.D. showed as 000-000-0000 I didn’t feel comfortable and hung up.” Mrs. Whaley also says she does not even have a MasterCard.
The scammers are after the card number and expiration date but more importantly the security code, making it possible for them to use the card for online purchases.

“It’s difficult to say who will get the calls; some of them are probably random or robo-calls,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is also possible that the scammers purchased the numbers off mailing lists or from a hacked database.”

The scam works two ways. The consumer is asked to “press 1” to speak to an operator who will then ask for the information on the card. In other instances, the request will be to “press 1” to fix the issues with the card and a pre-recorded voice will give instructions to enter the 16-digit card number, the expiration date, and finally the security code.

“Under no circumstances should you do provide any information,” stated Bernas. “If you fear there is a possibility that your card may have been hacked, hang up and call your credit card provider.”

Anyone who has a credit card is a potential victim of this scam. If you should receive one of these calls you should:

  • Not return a call from a pre-recorded message.
  • If speaking to a live “operator” ask for his/or her name, department and extension. Then hang up call the number on the back of your card and ask for that person.
  • Never provide personal or financial information to someone you do not know.
  • Feel free to just hang-up.
  • Using the number on the back of your card or on your statement call the credit card company that issued your card if you have security questions or concerns.

For more information on scams, visit www.bbb.org/chicago, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Pinterest.

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