Don’t fall for this new early morning credit card fraud scheme

6 April 2015

According to the federal Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), a new variation on the old practice of phishing by telephone is cropping up across Canada. Most consumers are aware of the dangers of phishing and would never deliberately give away their credit card information to an unknown caller — that is, as long as they were in their right mind. These scammers are making sure their targets won’t be in their right mind at the time of their calls by contacting them in the wee hours of the morning, between 5 and 7:30 a.m.

According to Daniel Williams, a senior CAFC call-taker, the scammers pull the wool over sleepy victims’ eyes by claiming to be calling from the victim’s bank. They tell the victim that their card was used for fraudulent purposes the night before, which is usually enough to convince the alarmed, fatigued call recipient to volunteer more information about their account so that the situation can be “fixed”.

Often, the callers will read off the first digits of the victims’ card numbers to convince them that they are actually calling from the bank, when in fact each bank has a standard set of initial digits that are included on all their cards. This has managed to convince some confused card holders to read off the rest of the numbers on their card to “verify their identity”.

To avoid credit card fraud, you should never give away your card numbers or banking information over the phone, even if you are fairly sure the caller is really from your bank.