Credit cards

People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned to be on the lookout for the latest scam which being carried out across the country.

The Visa/Mastercard telephone scam involves a call from someone who claims to work for either a card company’s security and fraud department, informing people that their card has been flagged because of an unusual purchase pattern.

The caller then asks if the respondent has purchased goods costing just under £500 and when the answer is no, the caller states that the amount will be credited back to their account.

The key to the scam is the caller then requesting that for this to take place, the three security numbers that are on the reverse of the credit card need to be provided to verify identification.

Brian Mycock, Staffordshire County Council’s Head of Consumer Support, said:

“This scam has been around for a while but it’s still effective from the scammers’ point of view. Once they have the information they need from you, they will then go on to use your credit card to make a purchase or purchases of just under £500.

“In these instances the callers already have the main number on the front of the credit card along with names and addresses of card holders. What they need is the three digit security number on the back of the card in order to scam you out of money.

“Our advice is not to give out these or any other details and tell the caller that you will contact Visa or Mastercard directly for verification. It can often be a lengthy process to recover lost funds so be on the safe side and don’t give out this information in the first place.”

For more information and advice, Staffordshire residents can contact Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards on 01782 297094.

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.