Local woman tricked by fake credit monitoring service call

Local woman tricked by fake credit monitoring service call

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When a call came a few weeks ago to Charlotte's home, she was at first alarmed by the information. When a call came a few weeks ago to Charlotte's home, she was at first alarmed by the information.
"Don't give anybody any kind of a number on the phone," Charlotte said. "Period." "Don't give anybody any kind of a number on the phone," Charlotte said. "Period."
"She did the right thing [by contacting MasterCard]. That's the most important thing she could have done," said Debra Smith with Home Federal Bank. "She did the right thing [by contacting MasterCard]. That's the most important thing she could have done," said Debra Smith with Home Federal Bank.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local woman received an "emergency" call that her cards were being hacked, but the call turned out to be a scam itself.

She was convinced at first the call was authentic.

The threat of your credit and debit card information being stolen has been headline news for the past five months.

Most people are aware of the hacking breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus since millions of people were affected.

When a call came a few weeks ago to Charlotte's home, she was at first alarmed by the information.

Charlotte, whose last name we are not revealing, considers herself pretty alert from having the wool pulled over her eyes.  

However, her keen sense of awareness about being fooled didn't help when a call came recently from an earnest sounding man who said someone was trying to open up a credit card in her name.

"He said, 'This is an emergency, please do not hang up. I'm calling from the credit card monitoring service in Atlanta, Ga. Please get a pen and paper and write down everything I say,'" Charlotte said.

The mention of an "emergency" from the credit card monitoring service perked her ears, so she started taking notes. The man on the phone said his name was Chad Goodall and gave his badge and phone number.

"He said my credit cards were all being breached," said Charlotte.

Goodall said someone was trying to open a Visa card in Charlotte's name and already had started to charge $275 using her name and address.

"He told me was going to close that account immediately for me, that he was removing the application. He proceeded to do some things, then he gave me a verification number that he had closed the account," said Charlotte.

Confident in his ability to help her, Charlotte jotted down the verification numbers, but Goodall wasn't through. He apparently wanted to steal real information.

"Then he told me they were breaching my MasterCard and we needed to verify the number. And he gave me the first four numbers of my MasterCard and he said now we need to proceed with the rest of the numbers," Charlotte said. "I very foolishly gave him the rest of my numbers."

"All MasterCards start with five," said Debra Smith. "Visa starts with four."

Smith, executive vice president with Knoxville's Home Federal Bank, says if hackers know what card you have they may also know where you bank. Numbers two through six on credit cards are the bank identification numbers.

Smith sad all banks monitor cards for strange or unusual transactions, but would identify itself when contacting a customer using the name of a bank, not just a credit card monitoring service.

Realizing her mistake, Charlotte took action. She immediately called MasterCard who told her that her account had been breached.

Fraudulent charges amounting to $800 had been charged to her account, but because she called MasterCard, the bad transactions were canceled.

Charlotte then closed her account.

"She did the right thing. That's the most important thing she could have done," said Smith.

6 On Your Side called the number that Chad Goodall had given to Charlotte. All we heard on the other end was a message that the number was no longer in service.

Charlotte says she learned an important lesson.

"Don't give anybody any kind of a number on the phone," she said. "Period."

And if you do make that mistake, call your credit card company immediately.

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