I have developed a sort of relationship with a group of credit card thieves over the past year or so. I have long ago given up con blocking their numbers, now I try to take their calls. I figure if I can keep them on the line for 5 minutes, that keeps them from reaching someone susceptible. It goes without saying, don’t try this at home. If you suspect credit card fraud contact the Federal Trade Commission.
They have the hardware needed to change their number at will so you have to be on your toes each time the phone rings. Of course they use “American” sounding names. A man with a heavy accent claiming to be Bill or Tim is almost laughable.
It is a numbers game. It make take 100,000 calls to find a target, but they are willing to put in the effort. They do find victims.
There is no way to prevent their calls. They have no accountability, they have no office, no headquarters, they are ghosts. Blocking their numbers is impossible. And do not call lists only apply to people who follow the law.
The objective is simple; they want your credit card info. That’s it.
Here are the keystones of the hustle…
They will offer to lower your credit card interest rate. They will ask for for you credit card information to ‘check’ to see if you qualify.
The may start with asking about how much credit card debt you have, and then the bank that issued the card.
They can guess the first 4 digits based on the card type, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc.
If you won’t provide the full 16 digits, they sometimes ask for the last 12 digits and with first 4 being standard, they have all they need. The exp date and CVV number can be guessed.
If you resist they may remind you that the card number is seen to merchants, restaurants, etc and it’s harmless to provide it to them. True enough, people do see your card number. If a merchant steals your number and charges start to appear, there is a establishment to hold accountable. They may use phrases like “I’m just trying to help you”, or “I’m just doing my job”. Depending on the script-o-the-day you may get mentions of the Recorded Lines, Consumer Protection Acts, the FCC, and other government agencies. Sprinkling in facts and important sounding words is a method to gain your trust.
Here is an audio segment from the Afternoon Drive featuring ‘Alex Mixon’. The numbers used were: (800) 921 – 2110 and (719) 749 0424. 800-921-2110 and 719-749-0424
We all pay for credit card fraud. The purloined billions are passed down the line to honest consumers.