Originally created 12/29/00

Warns of scam; BellSouth powerless 122900 - The Augusta Chronicle

Let your readers know that there is an attempt at fraud which is subtle enough to trap some people, especially senior citizens.

Recently I received a telephone call from a man who verified my name (including my middle initial) and address. He said there was a change in my credit card which made it necessary for him to send me a sticker to put on the card. He said I wouldn't be able to use my card without the sticker.

He explained the sticker would be mailed after he verified my card. He asked me, "See the black line on the back of your card?" I said yes. "Well," he continued, "that is the magnetic strip the computer reads, so you don't want to put the sticker over that. Now turn your card over and your numbers should start with a 5 or 4, which is it?" I answered.

"Now read me the rest of the numbers so I can verify them." I knew it was a sham, so I told him no and he quickly hung up. I checked my caller ID, Star 67 and Star 57 to no avail.

I called my credit company to let them know of the attempt. I called a television station and reported what happened. ... Then I called BellSouth and it said it could do nothing unless I made a police report. I did, and called back. BellSouth then told me there was nothing it could do, there was no way to trace the call unless I went to court and obtained a subpoena.

With all the technology out there, I believe there exists a way to trace such calls if the telephone provider chooses to do so. ...

Carl E. Carr, Martinez

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