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Beware of rise in call spoofing

Some scammers are pretending to be Numerica

What’s worse than receiving a phone call about suspicious activity on your credit card? When the caller is a con artist.

It’s a rising problem — fraudsters pretending to help you avoid the very scam they are trying to commit. Some scammers are impersonating Numerica representatives in an attempt to steal your credit or debit card information, typically using a combination of caller ID spoofing and social engineering.

  • Caller ID spoofing: The practice of making a scam call appear as if it’s coming from a trusted phone number, such as a local number or the number of your financial institution.
  • Social engineering: Using deception to manipulate someone into an action that can be used for fraudulent purposes, such as revealing confidential information.

How spoofing calls typically work

Fraudsters know first impressions matter. That’s why if they try to impersonate Numerica, they will spoof a Numerica phone number or send a text message that identifies them as representing “Numerica fraud prevention.”

Next, attackers prey on the fears of their victims. In the case of Numerica impersonators, they will allege suspicious activity on a credit card or debit card account. This may include asking the member to verify a made-up transaction — an ATM withdrawal in Georgia or a gas purchase in Rhode Island. When the member disputes the make-believe charge, the fraudsters assure they can help.

This is often when the fraud happens. For the purposes of “account verification,” the scammers will ask for account information that can be used to commit fraud.

Commonly, this request comes in the form of a verification code — or one-time passcode — texted to the member’s phone. This passcode is generated when the scammers attempt to add the member’s card to a mobile wallet.

To pull off the scam, they require the verification code sent to the member.

Once they receive the information they need, the fraudsters assure the member a dispute has been filed and that no further action is needed. That’s when the credit card is compromised and fraudulent activity ensues.

Signs it’s a spoofing scam

Fortunately, there are best practices that can keep you from falling victim to this scam.

If someone calls you reporting suspicious activity on your Numerica credit or debit card, keep these tips in mind:

  • Numerica will NOT ask for your PIN.
  • Numerica will NOT ask for the 3-digit security code on the back of the card.
  • Numerica will NOT ask you for a verification code texted to your phone. (Please note that text message verification codes are always sent for your private use. The text messages themselves state not to share the code with anyone, and that includes Visa or Numerica representatives.)
  • Numerica will NOT use scare tactics to ask you to reveal personal information.
  • If a caller makes you feel suspicious or unsure, hang up and call Numerica at 800.433.1837 or stop by a branch.

What to do if you are the victim of a spoofing scam

Numerica is here to help you live well. This starts with the Visa Zero Liability policy, which helps protect Numerica cardholders from unauthorized transactions.

If you believe you are a victim of a spoofing scam, reach out to us immediately at 800.433.1837 or stop by a branch to file a dispute.

Victims are also encouraged to file a complaint with organizations that protect consumers and prosecute scammers for their crimes. The Washington and Idaho Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Communications Commission have links to file a complaint on their website home pages.

Additional resources

For further reading, visit Numerica’s library of fraud and security stories.

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May 28, 2024