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Credit Card Scam Hits The Diamond District: How to Protect Yourself

Several of our clients have been telling us about a new credit card scam making its way through the Diamond District. It works like this:

A customer comes in with a counterfeit credit card and the card gets rejected. The customer then suggests calling the number on the back of the card for authorization. Guess what: the number on the back of the card isn’t for any credit card company – it’s the number of their accomplice. The person on the other end of the line pretends to be the credit card issuer and “authorizes” the transaction. Unfortunately, some folks we already know have been burned by this scam.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to avoid this scam: don’t trust the phone number on the back of the card. Instead, call your Merchant Provider’s voice authorization number. Alternatively, you can keep these official credit card issuer phone numbers on hand in case you need authorization for a transaction:

  • VISA Assistance center 1-800-VISA-911
  • MasterCard Assistance center 1-800-MCAssist
  • American Express Card Authorizations 1-800-528-2121

If you’re suspicious of a card or cardholder at any time during a transaction, call one of the above numbers and request a “Code 10 Authorization.” This signals to the operator (and not the customer) that you’re calling because of suspicious activity. Act casual and answer the operator’s questions. If you’re suspicions are correct, the operator will call law enforcement on your behalf.


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