Credit Card Scam / Fraud

Credit CardVery new, very clever credit card scam. (They never give up.) Just when you thought you’d heard it all. This scam is actually very clever. Be very careful out there! This one could easily slip by most anyone – beware of people bearing gifts.

(Checked with SNOPES: this is TRUE)  …. The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim:

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: “Express Couriers,”(The name could have been anything) he asked if I was going to be home because there was a package delivery for me  that required a signature. The caller said that the delivery would arrive at  my home in roughly an hour, and sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued about who had sent  me such a gift, I inquired as to  who the sender was. The deliveryman’s reply was, he was only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card was being sent separately… (the card has never arrived!) There was also a consignment note with the gift.

He then went on to explain that because the  gift contained alcohol, there was a R30.50 “delivery/ verification charge,”  providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult of  legal drinking age, and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded  logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that  everything is properly accounted for, and this would  help in keeping a  legal record of the transaction. He added couriers not needing to carry a bunch of cash, would make them less likely targets for robbery.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled his wallet out of his  pocket with the credit/debit card, and ‘John,’ the “delivery man,” asked my husband to swipe his card on a small mobile card machine. It had a small  screen and keypad where Frank was also asked to enter the card’s PIN and security number. A receipt was printed out and given to us as our copy of the  transaction. He then said everything was in order, and wished us good  day.

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following  Monday, R40,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at  various ATM machines. It appeared that somehow the “mobile credit  card machine,”

which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary  to create a “dummy” card with all our card details after my husband swiped our card and entered the requested PIN and security number.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We also personally went to the Police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or  package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package.  Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is. Above all, the  only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!

Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

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