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Ann's Credit Card Re-Scam

The scammer claimed to be from her credit card company and was notifying Ann of fraudulent charges on her account

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Full Transcript

[00:00:01] HOST: Coming
up on this episode of AARP's Perfect Scam.

[00:00:04] Ann: There
must have been multiple copies of the debit card made, because it was all over
the country, and within 24 hours, they had cleaned us out. It's so easy to
become a victim of one of these people.

[00:00:17] HOST:
Another week, another scam. This week, is it really the credit card company
calling? This scam will sound familiar to many, and it's definitely one to look
out for. We'll tell you what questions to ask and when to just hang up. For The
Perfect Scam, I'm Will Johnson, and I'm joined, as always by the Fraud Watch
Network Ambassador, Frank Abagnale. Frank, thanks for being here once again.

[00:00:37] Frank
Abagnale: Great to be here, will, Thanks.

[00:00:38] HOST: Frank,
today we have a victim of a re-scam we're going to tell our listeners about,
but first, as always, we like just to shoot the breeze with you a little bit
and I was thinking about your story this week. And I wanted to talk to you
about, and I know people ask you about them, the FBI agent who pursues you
through the movie and finally catches up with you, Karl Hanretti.

[00:00:58] Frank
Abagnale: Right. His actual name was Joe Shea.

[00:01:02] HOST: Oh,
not his real name.

[00:01:03] Frank
Abagnale: No, but he, he was on the set along with the two younger agents
during the making of the film. He was Stephen Spielberg's consultants, and he
didn't want his real name used, so Tom Hanks made up the name of an old
football player named Karl Hanretti and used that instead. In the book I used
Joe Shea's real name, and Joe Shea, it was a real Irishman from Boston, so he
did have a heavy accent. Tom Hanks did an amazing job of portraying him. He
sounded like him, he looked like him.

[00:01:33] HOST: Yeah,
he does, cause when you hear a fake Boston accent, it can be really annoying.

[00:01:36] Frank
Abagnale: Yeah, his mannerisms and everything he picked up, he was great. Joe
Shea was a wonderful man. He and I were friends for 30 some odd years. I worked
with him a great deal at the Bureau for 10 years till he retired. We remained
friends 20 years after. He died several years ago at age 88, but he lived a
great life up until his death, and of course, one of my books, Stealing Your
Life, I dedicated that book to him and our long-term relationship. He had two
daughters which I'm very close to today, and he was just a wonderful, wonderful

[00:02:08] HOST: It's
such an interesting relationship obviously, the person who pursued you and
caught you eventually and sent you to jail.

[00:02:15] Frank
Abagnale: Right, and I think his thing was, is he said in interviews that,
"At the beginning I always thought I was chasing this very sophisticated,
older criminal." And he said, "When I came to realize I was actually
chasing just a young boy," his whole frame changed about how he perceived
me and what he thought of me and I think that had a lot to do with probably the
father in him.

[00:02:39] HOST: Right,
and there's a father figure vibe in the movie.

[00:02:41] Frank
Abagnale: Right, yeah, absolutely.

[00:02:44] HOST: And
you know, it brings up the idea also when he eventually found you in France,

[00:02:48] Frank
Abagnale: Yes.

[00:02:50] HOST: Were
you relieved to go back to the U.S. after spending time in institutions, in
jails, prison overseas that probably weren't so nice?

[00:02:58] Frank
Abagnale: Well, to be honest, I would have been ready to go back immediately
after the French experience, but then when I got to the Swedish prison, that
was like staying at the Holiday Inn, so it wasn't very bad, so I thought, well
maybe I'll just stay here. But no, I knew eventually they'd be taking me back,

[00:03:15] HOST: And
forgive me, I really have to ask this question; did you really escape out of
the airplane as in the movie?

[00:03:20] Frank
Abagnale: Absolutely, but not from the toilet, from the kitchen galley where
they do service the plane and bring things onto the plane. When I watched the
movie and saw that, my wife looked at me, and I said, "I did not go
through the toilet."

[00:03:33] HOST:
Alright, so a little poetic license there from Spielberg, but I was watching it
with my 10-year-old and we were dumbfounded, you know, to, I was reminded
that's how you got away in the movie. But nonetheless, you did get out of the plane
and go running off the runway.

[00:03:45] Frank
Abagnale: Yes.

[00:03:47] HOST: So,
then after...

[00:03:49] Frank
Abagnale: Now the interesting thing, let me tell you about that part was that I
was not trying to be sneaky. What had happened is, because I was non-violent,
in my extradition back to the U.S. became more of a deportation, so the federal
government imply asked the Swedish government to put me onboard a nonstop
flight to JFK. Make sure that my passport and all my belongings were with the
pilot of the aircraft, so that's what they did because I wasn't a threat to
anybody. When we landed, it was about 10 o'clock at night, and we were taxiing
on the runway and we had stopped, waiting for a gate, and I was sitting there
and it came to me, and the flight attendant had gone up to talk to the other
flight attendant, so I got up and walked to the back of the plane. I was not
trying to be sneaky. I disarmed, she had already disarmed the chute or I would
have done it, but she had disarmed the chute...

[00:04:36] HOST: And
you knew about disarming the chute from your previous...

[00:04:38] Frank
Abagnale: Oh yeah, how to open the doors. I knew all the from the other

[00:04:41] HOST:
Alright, cause the average person wouldn't go back in the galley.

[00:04:43] Frank
Abagnale: Right, and I opened the door, and then I basically kind of hung down
to jump from the plane. I wasn't trying to be sneaky. First, I thought that
when the door opened, it sends an alarm off to the cockpit that the door's been
opened, so I assumed they knew. So when I jumped I had no idea, but what had
happened was the door, which was on a swing, swang back closed. I hit the
ground and started running to the Van Wyck Expressway. I assumed someone in the
tower saw me running, but nobody saw me. I went over the fence. So the best
part of that story was the pilot hears the alarm go off, but it's just a ding
and he thinks on impact, on the landing, the door juggled or something. He just
cancels it, and then when we pulled up, they tell people, please remain on the
flight, there's some officers coming on the plane, it'll just take a moment.
And the immigration customs people came on and Shea, and...

[00:05:36] HOST: You're

[00:05:32] Frank
Abagnale: I was gone, and they couldn't figure out, and the flight attendant
kept swearing, he was there. I saw him. He was there when we landed a minute
ago, and I was gone, so that made it even more intriguing.

[00:05:46] HOST: One of
the great things about you, Frank, is that you tell these stories like, kind of
matter of fact, but also like it almost happened to somebody else. And in a way
maybe it did. You were a different guy, you were a kid.

[00:05:55] Frank
Abagnale: A different person, yeah.

[00:05:57] HOST: And
then 41 years later, you're still working with the FBI. Have you met others who
were either con men or, I know the FBI interviews people who have done, bad
guys, if you will, others who have been brought into the FBI like yourself, or
are you a unique case?

[00:05:52] Frank Abagnale:
A few years ago the Bureau did their 100-year anniversary coffee table book,
and basically, I was the only one that they've ever actually brought into the
FBI to do the things that I do and teach at the academy. They have brought in
people that are, that basically they use to get information out of, or maybe
use, to help them in undercover case.

[00:06:33] HOST:
Jailhouse interviews.

[00:06:34] Frank
Abagnale: Yeah, what's interesting is that I get a lot of emails from,
especially young men that are in prison that say I want to do what you did. And
I have a great experience in computer fraud or I'm really good at doing this,
and this is what I did and was convicted of. So I would like to come out and
work for Microsoft, or come out and work for the government, and what I try to explain
to them, you just don't do that overnight. You have to build credibility.
People have to believe they can trust you. Microsoft's not going to hire you
tomorrow and put you in a job just because you're good on a computer. They
would have to learn to know that you've gone straight and that you're doing
something positive, so it's not that easy to go do it, but you certainly can
turn your life around if you want to, but it's not, it's like not thinking you’re
going to be a millionaire tomorrow when you get out of college. It's the same
thing. You've got to learn to get people's trust, to trust you and then learn
to build that credibility before you actually can do those kind of things.

[00:07:32] HOST: The
thing is about these guys or men or women who are reaching out to you, you're
actually responding. I'm guessing you have some empathy for somebody who's done
something wrong and maybe trying to change their life.

[00:07:43] Frank
Abagnale: Absolutely. I, you know, I want to encourage them to come out and do
something with this life, but I tell them that it's entirely up to them. They
have to make the decision to want to do it, they want to change their life. And
some do and some don't, but they're never going to get anywhere until they make
the decision that I'm going to change my life, and that it's not going to be
easy, you know, that it's not going to come easy. You’ve got to work at it, but
you can do it.


[00:08:12] HOST: On
this week's episode, we introduce you to Ann. Ann considers herself scam-wise,
her term, but it's a good one, and would seem to imply that she couldn't be
tricked by a scam artist. To be fair that's probably how a lot of feel that
we're wise to most of the everyday phone calls from numbers we don't know and
strangers asking us for information we wouldn't normally just give out. Unfortunately,
one day last year Ann learned that she's not as foolproof as she thought.

[00:08:37] Ann: We got
a call from a woman who said she was from the Chase Bank Credit Card Fraud
Unit, and I said, "Okay, what's going on?" And she said, "We've
seen some fraudulent activity on your credit card, and I just need to get some
information." And I said, "Alright. That's fine. I'm glad you called.
I appreciate it." And she gave me the last four of my credit card, the
last four numbers. And I said, "Alright, that's good."

[00:09:09] HOST: This
is like a scammer as you're going to find out, actually pretending to be
catching a scam, which is, that's kind of a, that's pretty tricky.

[00:09:19] Ann: Well,
it's a re-scam. And so, anyhow, she asked what my name was, my full name, and
what my husband's full name was, and then she asked if I could give her the
full credit card number, and I did. And then she asked for my social security
number, and because my husband had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, my
brain was not on 100 percent scam guard. And I gave it to her, and then she
asked, although I said, "I don't really like to do this over the
phone," and she said, "Well it's alright, I'm from the Chase Fraud
Unit and we need this information."

[00:10:08] HOST: So, at
this point, did you, as you said, it was, you were obviously going through a
difficult time with your husband's health and oftentimes that's when they'll
get people when they're vulnerable.

[00:10:18] Ann: Yes, I
was distracted.

[00:10:19] HOST: And
did you feel like more or less you were distracted, but more or less things
were, were on the up and up.

[00:10:25] Ann: At that
point I was becoming a little suspicious, but not as suspicious as I should
have been.

[00:10:32] HOST: Well,
and also, they were calling you about something that probably made you, gave
you, would have given you some anxiety were it actually true and you'd want to
follow up on it.

[00:10:40] Ann:
Exactly. Exactly. She wanted to know what other credit cards we had and what my
bank account number was. And at that point I became extremely suspicious and I
said, "I'm not going to give you any more information," but meanwhile,
I had given her our address, our social security numbers, the full number of
the Chase credit card, and I, after I hung up, I said, oh boy, there's
something wrong here. And the first clue that I should have noticed was that it
was a local number, in the 518 area code.

[00:11:27] HOST: Okay,
and they, maybe that was the reason why you picked up in the first place or no?

[00:11:30] Ann: Yes.
Yes, and then I called Chase Fraud Department, and they said no, we never ever,
ever ask for anyone's social security number, we have all the information.

[00:11:43] HOST: And
so, when you heard that what went through your mind?

[00:11:47] Ann: Words
that I cannot repeat in a polite society.

[00:11:52] HOST: In a
family-friendly setting. Okay.

[00:11:54] Ann: Yes,
exactly. And I was really worried. And so I gave all the information to the
real Chase Fraud Department that I called, and they said we will look into
this. Within 24 hours, they, the scammers had physically reproduced my debit
card for our bank account.

[00:12:19] HOST: How,
how do you know they were able to do that?

[00:12:21] Ann: Because
they were using it for all kinds of charges that you need to have your debit
card with you, not phone ordering or internet ordering, but going into a store
and using it. At that point, I called my bank and found out that they had
cleaned us out of $5,000.

[00:12:45] HOST: Good

[00:12:46] Ann: And I
called the FBI, and I had also, the day before when I talked to the real Chase
Fraud Department, called the state police and the local police. And what I did
find out in talking to the FBI when I called them to report this they told me
that there was a scam group coming out of Russia, and that they had the ability
locally, all over the country to physically reproduce credit cards and debit
cards. And they would look very real, they would have chips on them, they'd
have all the magnetic information on the little strip, and they look legit. And
finally, the group was caught. We've never recovered that amount of money that
we lost. There must have been multiple copies of the debit card made, because
it was all over the country. And within 24 hours they had cleaned us out.

[00:13:53] HOST: And did
you know, so along the way, so along the way you learned the right thing to do
and the right people to call. Before this happened, had you had other scam type
things happen to you, or did you know what to do?

[00:14:04] Ann: Oh yes,
we, and, and we were called by the IRS and, I very kindly told the guy that he
was a crook and that he should be ashamed of himself, that he was bringing
dishonor on his family.

[00:14:25] HOST:
Anything else you want to add? This is great information and all of these
stories and people that we talk to are hopefully going to help somebody else
out who gets a similar call.

[00:14:33] Ann: I hope
so. Just, just don't trust anybody on the phone that doesn't give you their ID
number, that isn't calling from a recognized toll-free number, and that asks
you for any more information, including your credit or debit card number, your
insurance number, your healthcare number, all of those lead scam artists to
your, all of your personal information, and don't forget to notify your local
law authorities and the, and the FBI.

[00:15:16] HOST: Yeah,
I mean the bottom line is you don't have to tell anybody anything over the

[00:15:19] Ann: No, no,
no. You can, but you can embarrass them and tell them that they're crooks.

[00:15:25] HOST: Ann, I
like your, I like your style. We, personally I like it. At the AARP what they
tell us is, and what they try to tell people who are involved, is hang up. Were
you able to talk to your husband, a friend, your family? A lot of people feel
embarrassed when this kind of thing happens.

[00:15:44] Ann: I'm not
one of those people.


[00:15:53] HOST: So
Frank, one thing about this story with Ann is that she mentions that she was
distracted, she was vulnerable because her husband was ill. That's just a
scammer getting lucky, I assumed, for the scammer.

[00:16:05] Frank
Abagnale: That was probably just, the scammer didn't plan on that. They've
gotten a little more sophisticated, so now the caller ID would have said, Wells
Fargo bank, so that when they picked it up they're very confident...

[00:16:17] HOST: Yeah,
I was going to ask you about that. So you can get a, you can...

[00:16:20] Frank
Abagnale: For a phone, and especially Russian gangs that manipulate the caller

[00:16:24] HOST: So you
believed all the Russian gang stuff in this story about the credit cards and...

[00:16:27] Frank
Abagnale: I have a Russian, as I mentioned before, that it's a 20 billion
dollar business, you know with the Russian gangs that do a lot of these scams
in the United States and other countries.

[00:16:36] HOST: And
they're creating the credit cards like that.

[00:16:37] Frank
Abagnale: And they're creating the credit cards, yes. So there's a couple of
things here. First of all, they're probably a Russian gang. They would have
been a little more sophisticated today and they would have popped up as Wells
Fargo bank. They would have said yes, there was suspicious activity on your
account, we're from the fraud department. Now, first of all, getting the last
four digits of your credit card, that's everywhere, so if you were to buy a
ticket today on one of the airlines and then say, email me over the receipt,
you'll notice that at the top it gives you the last four digits of your credit
card. That's on everything; department store charges, everywhere. So everyone
picking up a receipt or anything has got the last four digits of your credit
card, so knowing that is not a, a big deal, but it makes people feel confident
that must be my, must be my bank. And today we do have chips in cards. The
whole purpose of the chip is to keep cards from being cloned. That's the sole
purpose behind the chip on the card. When we first developed chip and pin,
which was developed by the French, it basically was done as chip and pin, and
then picked up around the world everywhere except the United States. It's very
effective in keeping people from cloning cards as they did in this case. But,
we brought that, and adopted that in the United States a couple years ago and
we went to chip and signature. That immediately took away 50 percent of the
technologies you use for a security device because the credit card companies
didn't think Americans wanted to remember a four-digit pin, so they made it
chip and signature. So that was a criminal's dream come true, so it basically
made it 50 percent less more secure than it would be say in Australia or

[00:18:13] HOST: But
isn't the chip very secure?

[00:18:15] Frank
Abagnale: The chip is secure, but again you have Russian gangs. When you have
20 billion dollars you can produce your own chips. You can manipulate the chip.
For example, if you take a pin and you know exactly where to hit the chip with
a little hammer in the pin, you can default the chip. So when I walk in a
retail store, and they put the card in the chip reader, it cannot read it.

[00:18:36] HOST: So you
swipe it.

[00:18:36] Frank
Abagnale: They tell you to swipe it. So they just circumvent the chip.

[00:18:39] HOST: And
half those machines don't have the pin technology in them anyway, right?

[00:18:42] Frank
Abagnale: Yeah, so most likely more than, I would say more than them having
created the chip, they're using that technique of defaulting or putting a phony
chip in that can't be read, forcing you to go to magnetic strip and swipe it.

[00:18:56] HOST: And
that's only if you're in person anyway using the chip, obviously, you could use
a card over the phone and if you have all the numbers that you need you've
bought something.

[00:19:03] Frank
Abagnale: Right, and there's a lot to be said about 4-digit numbers. For
example, if I say to you as a telemarketer or someone soliciting you and say to
you, "I only need the last four digits of your social security
number," and you say to me, "0-9-1-8" I'm going to follow that
up with, "So I detect a real southern accent." And you go, "Oh
yeah I'm born and raised in Alabama." "Oh, really? You know you sound
like you're my age. I'm 41." "Oh really? No, I'm actually a little
older than you, I'm 58." You just told him where you were born and your
date of birth. That's the first three digits of your social security number.
That is a formula used by the Social Security Administration to tell them when
it was issued and where it was issued. Then that leaves me just two digits to

[00:19:46] HOST: You're
really good at that, by the way, Frank.

[00:19:47] Frank
Abagnale: So in 2013, the Social Security Administration eliminated that now,
and this is why you're seeing social security numbers with 888, 000, as a
starting number that we'd have never seen before; however, anyone with a social
security number prior to January 1st, 2013, that's still the same three digits
represent that information. So they know to scam that out of you through social
engineering to simply say things like I did to get that information.

[00:20:14] HOST: So
you've got the first three and the last four.

[00:20:16] Frank
Abagnale: Right, so now you're left with 99 digits, and any computer program
can come up to a match of those number.

[00:20:20] HOST: There
you go.

[00:20:21] Frank
Abagnale: I think what's going to happen in the very near future, there is a
new technology called Trusona, which is T-r-u-s-o-n-a, that stands for True
Persona. That is a technology that allows you the ability to know with 100
percent accuracy that the person on the other end of the device is in fact who
they say they are. So, that device, that technology's being used now to
eliminate passwords. So government organizations and financial institutions are
getting rid of passwords. So let's take a major, let's take one of the top 10
banks in the United States. They spend about $6 million a month in their call
center resetting passwords, so that means that bank spends $100 million a year
just resetting passwords, so in order to have the ability to eliminate
passwords is a wonderful thing because that's why we have most of the problems
we have today. Passwords are stagnant, they need to be gone, so Trusona
basically does away with the need for passwords. So for example, when you in
about a year's time you'll go up to your bank's ATM, you'll want to withdraw
your money, you will just take your phone out and you will hold your phone up
to the screen at the bank, and it'll know it's you.

[00:21:35] HOST: What
is somebody's got my phone?

[00:21:36] Frank
Abagnale: No, because there is, it identifies you because you have, when you press
your app, you will have entered a passcode to open the app, and on your phone,
or you'll use your thumbprint to open the phone and it'll know it's you.

[00:21:49] HOST: So
most people, somebody's been able to unlock your phone and then have your phone,
it's definitely... a lot safer.

[00:21:53] Frank
Abagnale: Right, so I've had the opportunity to be an advisor to that
technology on the government's behalf because the CIA uses that technology. So
what I think is, in the next couple years that will be widely used, passwords
will go away, banks will start using it, even when you watch TV you'll hold
your phone up to your television and you're into Netflix. You don't need to get
there through passwords and all of that. So what will happen, I think, is you won't
need to say your social security number anymore. I'll identify you by your
phone or your I-pad or your PC that you are who you say you are. Yes, the
government will still have your social security number as an identifier
internally within the government, but you won't be required when you go buy a
car or you go do something to provide someone with your social security number,
and I think that'll be where we get, turn that whole thing around.

[00:22:41] HOST: And
does that lead into biometrics as well? I mean movies we've seen for decades,
right? Eyeball scan, iris scan.

[00:22:48] Frank
Abagnale: The problem with biometrics, biometrics can be easily replicated.
This technology you cannot replicate nor can you replay, so there's no way to
reduplicate it. You're you and I can't do anything about that. So I always tell
people about biometrics, that if you get a gummy bear and you press your thumb
down on that gummy bear as hard as you can and make it...

[00:23:10] HOST: Hold
on, bad guys, stop listening, but go ahead.

[00:23:13] Frank
Abagnale: It's not, anybody can do this, but it's to prove a point. If you take
a gummy bear, which is gelatin, and you press your thumb down on it as hard as
you can, it'll make a 3-dimensional impression of your thumb, then take the
gummy bear and lay it on your I-phone, it'll open it every single time.

[00:23:28] HOST:

[00:23:28] Frank
Abagnale: So that...

[00:23:29] HOST: And
also all teenagers stop listening.

[00:23:32] Frank
Abagnale: So that is why now the new I-phone 10 will only scan the veins in
your thumb, so it'll replicate only your thumb. So once you record the veins
and vessels in your thumb, that's how it'll read it, not by your fingerprint.
So you know, fingerprints...

[00:23:47] HOST: I
don't even see veins in my thumb.

[00:23:48] Frank
Abagnale: I always remind people that fingerprints are wonderful when you go to
a crime scene and there are fingerprints left behind and you identify the
person, but when you think about it, everywhere you go, you leave your
fingerprints, so if you're in a restaurant and I see your glass and you put it
down and I go over and pick up your glass, I have your fingerprints. So
biometrics is something that can be replicated, it can be picked up and reused
again. So that's why it had to be a technology that couldn't replay and you
couldn't reuse and you couldn't replicate.

[00:24:15] HOST: What
about the iris scan? Is that something that's...

[00:24:18] Frank
Abagnale: Same thing. You can, once I record it, I can do a replay. So in other
words, what criminals do is they send that image and it gets recorded so if I'm
in Russia and I capture that load, that download, I can replay that download
and when I replay it, I have the same information, the same retina, the same
everything that's on that load. So that's why those things are not really...

[00:24:42] HOST: I hear
you, the replayable thing is really important.

[00:24:44] Frank
Abagnale: Right.

[00:24:44] HOST: Or

[00:24:45] Frank
Abagnale: Right.

[00:24:46] HOST: The
three digits on the back of a credit card, is that just adding, I don't know if
I fully understand, but adding three more numbers that make it even harder for
somebody to get access to your credit card? I don't know, it seems funny to me
that like you're still, you can still see the numbers, anybody can read them.

[00:24:59] Frank
Abagnale: Right, and the whole purpose of that is to verify that you are, you
are the person holding the card. That's mainly more for online. And that's the
other thing you need to understand. The chip is, the whole purpose of the chip,
say it worked 100 percent perfectly, is to keep the cloning of credit cards,
when there is say, for example, a breech and someone gets all the credit card
and debit card numbers, to keep them from going out and manufacturing those
cards instantly, they've gone to the chip. However, that does not stop online
fraud. So when I go buy something on Amazon, they don't have my card. They
don't have my three-digit number. They don't have any of that, so online fraud
then skyrockets because they get away from the credit card actual possession of
the card, and they go commit all the fraud online. So, buying airline tickets,
all that, I don't need my card, the chip really doesn't serve any purpose, it's
only for the direct purchase at point of sale.

[00:25:54] HOST:
Driver's licenses also have a lot of technology these days, right, that protect

[00:25:57] Frank
Abagnale: They have some.

[00:25:59] HOST: Will
that help law enforcement?

[00:26:00] Frank
Abagnale: They've gone to a little more sophisticated tech, driver's license.
They have microprinting on it which is printing you can't see.

[00:26:04] HOST:
Passports, too.

[00:26:06] Frank
Abagnale: Yeah, passport's much more sophisticated than driver's license. They
have a lot what we call overt and covert features. Overt, things you can see,
covert, things that are in there that can only be read by a machine or a device
that you can't see.

[00:26:20] HOST: Okay.
She talks about giving the caller a hard time, but we always advise people not
to engage.

[00:26:28] Frank
Abagnale: Yeah...

[00:26:29] HOST: Why
not? I mean just it would be a good idea not to...

[00:26:31] Frank
Abagnale: Again, this, again these calls are very common, so if I had gone over
to the phone and said, "Wells Fargo bank," even on my caller ID,
said, "Hi, this is Robert Johnson, Fraud Department, Wells Fargo. Had some
suspicious activity on your credit card." I might listen to what they say.
What is the suspicious activity? Okay. The moment they would have asked me any
information, I would simply, sorry, I'm going to have to hang up on you, but I
will be calling back. And then I hang up, take my credit card, turn it over,
call the 800 number on the back, get customer service, say, "I just got a
call from the fraud department. This is what they said." That person on
customer service may say, let me connect you to the fraud department and then
when you get someone of course they're going to say, well no, we didn't call you
and that's a scam. But yeah, she's right about the fact that no bank is going
to ask you your social security number. They're not going to ask you to reveal
your bank account number. They know that. So they're not going to ask you that
information. Obviously, if they're asking you that, they're trying to get that
information from you.

[00:27:35] HOST: Frank,
my colleague who is always in the room for our tapings, Julie. Julie, how are

[00:27:39] Julie: I'm
well, thank you.

[00:27:40] HOST: She
always has questions and she's raising her hand, but she has one about calling
the pizza place, right?

[00:27:45] Julie: Yes,
I do. So about every Friday night my family and I order a pizza down at the
local pizza joint, and the girl is maybe what, 16, 17 years old. Always asks
for my credit card information. I give it to her. She asks me expiration. And
then she asks me the three digit on the back of the card. I always give it, but
I always pause and think, is this right? So tell me, what advice you have.
Should I be doing this?

[00:28:08] Frank
Abagnale: Absolutely not, and most of all the pizza place should not be asking
you that question, and if the credit card company knew that, they would have a
hard time with that pizza company, and the reason is, that they're only
required to ask you for the credit card information over the phone, your name,
your expiration date, and the card number. They sometimes will then ask you for
your zip code or actually, can you give me your address, which they already
have because you're delivering the pizza to your house. That's all they're
required to get. Then their money's guaranteed, even if your card turns out to
be fraudulent, or it turns out that you don't pay your bills, it doesn't
matter; the credit card company considers that an authorization and they'll
make good to the pizza place on your card, but I can assure you that the credit
card company would never say to the pizza place, you have to ask for their
three digit number. They don't want them to know your three digit, that number,
so that's...

[00:29:01] HOST: It's
just a pizza for goodness' sake, right?

[00:28:58] Frank
Abagnale: That's a case where somebody started doing that because they didn't
know any better and that’s just a policy of theirs until somebody tells you...

[00:29:08] HOST: Check
your statement, Julie. Every Friday night if the purchase is around midnight...

[00:29:13] Frank
Abagnale: It's almost better just to say, it's almost better to say to your
credit card company, listen, this is a pizza place I do business with. They ask
me this and VISA will contact them, whoever their credit card representative
is, and their, or their processor will contact them and say, hey, stop asking
your customers for that three digit number. You're giving them away all that

[00:29:33] HOST: When
do you give the three digit number? Just online is what it's...

[00:29:37] Frank
Abagnale: Not even a lot of times online, it's just on certain purchases and
certain types where the credit card company has told the merchant, you must
have the three digit number, like buying jewelry, something of an expensive
item over a certain dollar amount. Otherwise you don't need your three digit
number on there. Most of that information about what information and data to
get from the customers is done by the processor and not by the credit card
company, the VISA or MasterCard. They have rules for the processor to follow,
so maybe there's a chance that the processor, whoever the pizza place uses,
requires that they get that three digit number on the back of the card. I don't
think that's something VISA or MasterCard would condone for the prize of an $18
pizza, but that may be the case in that processor has told them to get the
three digit number on the back.

[00:30:27] HOST:
Alright, so something to keep in mind in the midst of all of this.

[00:30:29] Frank
Abagnale: Yes.

[00:30:30] HOST: Got
it, Julie?

[00:30:31] Julie: I do.
So next time, so next time I order the pizza should I say something to the girl
as well?

[00:30:36] Frank
Abagnale: Say, I don't believe you need my three digit number for buying this
pizza. I'm having to give you my address and my...

[00:30:39] HOST: Just
bring me my pizza. It's Julie, I order every Friday.

[00:30:43] Julie: I'm
so hungry, please bring me my pizza.

[00:30:45] Frank
Abagnale: Yes, so see this is that whole thing where we give away too much
information only because someone asked us something, and we shouldn't give away
all that information.

[00:30:51] HOST: We
don't know any better maybe, but right. Alright, Julie. Any other questions or you’re

[00:30:56] Julie: I'm

[00:30:56] HOST: Okay.
We should have Julie on more. Alright, thank you, Frank. Once again, the AARP
Fraud Watch Network Ambassador and my cohost, Frank Abagnale.

[00:31:04] Frank
Abagnale: Thank you.

[00:31:04] HOST: For
more information and resources on how to protect yourself from scam artists



Ann was the victim of something called a “re-scam.” The scammer claimed to be from her credit card company and was calling to notify Ann of fraudulent charges on her account. Ann is normally wary of giving out information over the phone, but her husband had recently been diagnosed with cancer — so she was distracted and let her guard down. By the time she realized it was a scam, it was already too late. The scammer used the information she provided to steal thousands of dollars from Ann’s bank account. 

TIPS: Stop, verify and call back. If your bank calls and asks you for information, hang up and call it back on a number you’ve verified. No bank will ask for your Social Security number.

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When Elaine made a connection with a man on a dating site, she believed this could be something really special.

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