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Ted Szukalski

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Be aware of phishing, even when it is not over the Internet

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A few days ago I have received a phone call from a company, I use for certain services. I will avoid the names as the company is not the intended audience of this post.

A young man on the phone informed me, my yearly membership has expired, and asked me if I would like to renew it over the phone. My initial reaction was: “yes, sure”, as it is a worthwhile service. He asked me few customary questions to identify me as the account owner and then asked for the credit card details.

At that point, I pretended I have forgotten my credit card, and told him I will renew the service tomorrow. Now, why would I do such a thing? Because in the last second I realised he called me on my new mobile number, which has not been provided to the company at any time.

He, as a representative of the company, has a series of the questions to identify me, but how can I identify him? He has also not informed me how he obtained the mobile number.

Later on, that day my daughter has confirmed she has passed the new number to the company. And two days later I have received another phone call from them, this time I have completed the transaction, but I have also informed the service provider of my experience and how I regarded such approach as highly unprofessional in view of credit card fraud. It took awhile for the company representative to comprehend what they have done wrong, but in the end I got an apology. I was informed my call was being recorded for “quality and training” purposes and I hope it will be used that way.

So, be alert when giving the credit card details over the phone, even if the purported customer service representative refers to a company well known to you.