Scammers are trying a new credit card scheme : Canadians are inundate with scam emails, texts and phone calls on a daily basis. While criminals pretending to be with Canada’s big banks is nothing new, they are now trying a new credit card scam that everyone should know about.
I recently got a phone call out of the blue saying I could receive zero per cent interest on all my credit cards for a period of three years. I knew it was a scam, so I recorded the call and tried to keep the scammer on the line.
credit card scheme : Here is how the two-minute and 26-second call went before the scammer got mad and hung up.
Scammer: Hello, I am calling from Visa with a special offer for our customers.
Pat: I don’t understand. Why did you call me?
Scammer: Based on your good payment history and comparable rate, you are perfectly qualified to get zero per cent interest rate on your existing credit card for the next three years.
Pat: So I can get zero per cent interest on my credit cards for three years?
Scammer: Yes sir, for the next three years.
Pat: Wow that’s great. Ok, what do I have to do?
Scammer: So, after getting the zero per cent interest rate, your responsibility and your current job is to keep paying the bills on time the way you are doing right now.
Scammer: So, as my next step, what I’m going to do, I’m going to go ahead and pull out the most recent billing statement for you. I will let you know the current balance that you owe, the last payment you made, and the interest rate that you are paying right now. After that I will complete your profile for the zero per cent. So in order to work on an account, can you give your card. Please confirm with me your card numbers.
Pat: OK, but you’re calling me. Why do you need me to give you the card numbers?
Scammer: Yes, sir. I have your all information in my database because we’re secured and we’re protected. Right now, we know that I’m on a recorded line. Why am I asking for the card numbers is to make sure that the card is not stolen or not misplaced, sir. I’m not going to ask you for any personal information like your PIN code, your password, your drivers licence, nothing like that. Because I don’t want to lose my job sir.
Pat: So you want me to give you my credit card number?
Scammer: Yes, sir. Verify me the card numbers so I can simply go ahead and pull out the most recent statement for you. After that I will complete your profile for the zero per cent, sir.
Pat: So if I give you my credit card numbers, I get zero per cent interest on all my credit cards for three years?
Scammer: Yes, sir.
Pat: Wow that’s great. So which company are you with?
Scammer: I’m calling from the help department of Visa, sir. And this promotion call is only for CIBC, Scotia, Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank.
Pat: I’m not with any of those banks.
The scammer then hung up the phone.
Rachel Jolicoeur, director of fraud mitigation and strategy at Interac, told CTV News Toronto that criminals are always trying to devise ways to catch people off guard to get their credit card, banking and other personal information.
“Fraud at Interac and fraud in general is constant, but what we are seeing now is an increase in all type of fraud attempts,” said Jolicoeur.
She said thieves will also comb through social media posts to try and find out as much as they can about you, as they may already have some information and are searching for a final piece to steal your identity.
“Criminals are really good at taking one of the pieces and putting them together (with others) and creating a profile of the individual and this is where identity theft comes in,” said Jolicoeur.
credit card scheme : According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost more than $379 million last year in reported losses and received 104,295 fraud reports. It’s also estimated only about five per cent of victims file a fraud report.
The bottom line is never give out your credit card numbers, expiry dates or security code to someone who calls and asks for it, just know that it’s a scam and hang up.