Credit Card Fraud Alert


Example of a recent fraud involving e-mail messages

There have been increasing e-mail and Internet-related fraudulent
schemes targeting financial institution customers. Pennsylvania State
Bank does not request confidential information by e-mail or the
Internet. If you receive what seems to be a legitimate e-mail message
or Web site requesting sensitive information, such as bank account
information, please notify us immediately.

Example of a recent fraud involving VISA Card

A first person account of an actual fraud: "Person calling says, "This
is ____, and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at
VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an
unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on
your VISA card which was issued by bank. Did you purchase an
Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based
in Arizona?"

"When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be
issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been
watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just
under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your
next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address),
is that correct?"

"You say "yes". The caller continues... "I will be starting a Fraud
investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1-800
number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA)
and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control #" The
caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it

"Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then
says, "he needs to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll
ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers. There are 7
numbers; the first 4 are your card number, the next 3
are the 'Security Numbers' that verify you are in possession of the
card. These are the numbers you use to make Internet purchases to
prove you have the card. Read me the 3 numbers". After you tell the
caller the 3 numbers, he'll say ,"That is correct. I just needed to
verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still
have your card. Do you have any other questions?"
After you say No, the caller then Thanks you and states, "Don't
hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up."

"You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the
card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back
within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA
Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a
new purchase of $497.99 was charge on our card. "

"Long story made short, we made a real fraud report and closed the
VISA card, and they are reissuing us a new number. What the scammers
wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it
to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard direct. The
real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as
they already know the information since they issued the card! If you
give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving
a credit. However, by the time you get your statement, you'll see
charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too
late and/or harder to actually file
a fraud report. "

"What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call
from a "____of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA
scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police
report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several
of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know
that this scam is happening."


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