Cheryl Huxter is pretty careful when it comes to answering 1-800 and other strange numbers that come up on her phone.
But when the Steady Brook woman’s phone rang at her cabin around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday she didn’t hesitate to answer it. The number was from British Columbia and with family there it only made sense to answer.
The caller wasn’t a family member, but rather an automated message telling her there had been two questionable charges made using her Visa card, starting with numbers 4, 5 — $300 for PayPal and $1,000 for iTunes.
Because it said the first two numbers of her account Huxter immediately thought it was really hers, until she realized those numbers are standard on a lot of cards.
The message said Visa knows she doesn’t normally shop at the two businesses, so the charges might not be legitimate and her card would have to be blocked and a new one issued.
She was then given the option to press 1 if the charges were legitimate or 2 if they were fraudulent. If no choice was made she’d be connected to a service representative.
“It sounded very legitimate, especially when it comes before you’ve got your eyes hardly open.”
Huxter let the call play out, but was confident by then that it was a scam, so when the representative came on asked for her name and address she stopped the call and told him she’d call Visa herself. She did report the call to the credit card company.
Huxter called The Western Star to share what happened so that other people could be warned about the scam. Even with so many happening these days the reminder doesn’t hurt as she knows of people who have lost money through similar scams.
“I would hate to see somebody else lose a lot of money.
“This was a Visa scam that was pretty sophisticated.”