In the latest Credit card scam, you receive a phone call and the caller does not ask you for your card number; they already have it! The scam works like this:

The person calling says, "This is (name) and I am calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA/Mastercard. My badge number is (number). Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern and I'm calling to verify it. This would be on your VISA/Mastercard card which was issued by (name of your bank). Did you purchase (item) from a company in (place) for £497-99?"

When you say "NO", the caller continues with "Then we will be issuing a credit on 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 0800 number listed on the back of your card and ask for security. You will need to refer to this control number (gives you a number), do you want me to read it again?"

Here is the important bit - the caller says "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He will ask you "turn over your card and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you possess the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make internet and telephone purchases to prove you have the card.

The caller will ask you to read out the 3 security numbers. After you tell him he will say "that is correct, I just needed to verify the card has not been lost or stolen and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" When you say "No" the caller thanks you and says "don't hesitate to call back if you do" and hangs up.

You say very little and they never ask for or tell you your card number - what the scammers want is the 3 digit security number on the back of your card! Don't give it to them, tell them you will call VISA or Mastercard directly to verify their conversation.

VISA and Mastercard will never ask for anything on your card, as they already have it!