Fraudsters are targeting Shuswap residents with another telephone scam.
You may already be tired of regularly receiving phone calls where you’re accused of having done Revenue Canada wrong, potentially owing thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, or irritated with the sound of a voice on your phone telling you border security agents have an arrest warrant out for you because of that parcel containing highly illegal contents.
Unfortunately, you may soon be getting a different type of call – if you haven’t already.
One of the latest scams reported in Salmon Arm and elsewhere comes from a person identifying themselves as a Visa employee. According to the recording of said employee, someone has made two purchases on your Visa credit card for amounts and in places that don’t fit with your usual pattern of spending. Although the amounts may vary, one is for, say, $400, the other is for $1,300.
The voice asks you to press ‘1’ if you want to allow the purchases and ‘2’ if you don’t want them to go through. The voice and the request sound slightly more reasonable than other recent telephone scams, particularly if you have a Visa card.
However, a follow-up call to the real Visa phone line revealed that Visa has been getting many calls about this particular bit of telephone trickery.
The real Visa employee said that, for one thing, Visa would not leave a recorded message to inform you of possibly fraudulent transactions. The employee suspected that if you succumbed to pushing one of the buttons, at some point a person would come on the line in hopes of gleaning pertinent financial information from you.
The advice was not to respond to such a call in any way. If in doubt, a check with Visa afterwards could confirm whether you should be worried about the safety of your finances.
Visa has a webpage dedicated to learning about similar scams at https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/security/phishing-article.html
Visa and other financial institutions typically do not call their customers and request personal account information.
To find out more about fraud in Canada, the federal government has a Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre web page that contains details of recent scams and fraud at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.
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