It was 8:15 AM. It was last month, one week before Christmas. My phone rang. It was a recorded message:
“This is VISA Credit Card Services calling. At 5:00 AM this morning we noticed some unusual activity on your credit card. If you did not make a purchase using your VISA card at that time, press 1 to connect with an agent.”
Now I knew this was a scam, but I was curious. I pressed 1.
Tom answered. His accent suggested that his place of birth was well to the east from here.
“Tom, what’s going on? Apparently there was a purchase made on my VISA card this morning?”
“Yes, that is right. Can you give me the first 4 digits of your VISA card?”
Now, at this point, I admit I told the first of several lies, but I figured this guy is lying to me. I’ll go toe-to-toe with him.
“Tom, here’s the problem. I don’t have a VISA. I only have MasterCard.”
“Ah, well, when we say VISA we mean MasterCard as well. The activity was on your MasterCard.”
“Really? Well this is a cause for concern.”
“What are the first 4 digits of your MasterCard?”
“Tom, I don’t have my credit card with me. It’s in my wallet. I’m going to put the phone down and go get it. Ok?”
“I’ll put some music on for you while you are waiting.” I put the receiver by the radio and turned up the volume. I then returned to the e-mail message I was drafting when the phone rang.
It was a full ten minutes before the disconnect signal could be heard coming form the phone. I have to hand it to the bugger, he was more patient than I would have been.
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