Beware new card fraud by phone

Conmen have been phoning Visa and MasterCard customers claiming to be from the card issuers' fraud divisions. The fraudster provides a name and “badge number” then asks cardholders if they have made a purchase for a large amount. When the customers say no, the conman says a card fraud investigation will be started and provides a reference number. Customers are then asked to verify their identity and are asked to read out the last three digits printed on the back of the card. The fraudster can use the numbers in combination with credit card details obtained in other ways to make illegal purchases over the Internet or telephone, Visa says. Both card issuers stress that neither they nor banks will ever seek credit card information by phone or e-mail.