Telephone Phishing Scam Reported Across Maine

August 27, 2008

Consumers across southern and central Maine are reporting that they are receiving phone messages, purportedly from Visa, that indicate the consumer has reached the limit on their credit card and they must call an eight hundred (800) number to avoid paying an overcharge penalty.

When the consumer calls the eight hundred number they get an automated recording identifying ?Visa Credit Limit Support?. They are then asked to provide their full name, credit card number and the card?s security number. Once that information is entered, the automated voice states that all representatives are busy assisting other customers and that the estimated wait time is one hour.

Visa does not contact card holders directly. Instead, correspondence with Visa card holders is initiated by the issuing bank.

?This phone call purporting to be from Visa is a scam. The most effective way to fight identity theft is to avoid becoming a victim,? Rowe said. ?The best policy is to never give out your personal identifying information over the phone, through the mail or online unless you initiate the contact.?

Phishing is a tactic used by thieves to steal personal information by deception. Common phishing schemes involve a phone call, mail or email solicitations disguised as official contacts from a financial institution (bank, credit card company, mortgage broker, etc.) They may ask you to update your personal information or confirm your account number. Once the thief has your information they can use it to make unauthorized charges, open lines of credit in your name or empty your bank account.


NEWS RELEASE August 27, 2008 David Loughran, (207) 626-8577