A warning about a credit card scam that is spreading through Metro Moncton like wildfire is just a hoax, but there are still lessons to be learned from the tale, credit card companies say.
Even though the story is fake, it serves as a good reminder not to give out any personal information over the phone - unless it is you who initiated the call to your financial institution or credit card company.
The hoax has been going around the Internet for years.
As the story goes, someone purporting to be from Visa or MasterCard calls, saying your card has been flagged for unusual activity. Unbeknownst to you, they already have your credit card number, your name and your address. They gain your confidence by using this information and convince you to read the three-digit security code on the back of the card, which they then use to make online purchases or cash withdrawals.
In fact, the story is an urban myth that has been making the rounds for years.
Nevertheless, say banks and credit card providers, the tale serves as an opportunity to remember that it's never a good idea to give out personal information to strangers.
"No bank, retailer or credit card company will contact you with the request to provide personal information or passwords by phone, in an e-mail or online," MasterCard Canada's Tony Maraschiello says.
"If you initiate the call to your financial institution or credit card company directly, it is safe to verify this information."