Mail and Phone Fraud

Mail and Phone Fraud

What are common mail and phone frauds?

Scam artists may send official-looking letters and pose as representatives from Visa or financial institutions. If you're asked to provide your account number or other personal information in a reply envelope or by dialing a number, it could be fraud at work.

How do phone and mail fraud scams work?

Mail and phone frauds can take the form of get-rich-quick schemes, fake charity solicitations, requests for shipping expenses to send a prize, and many other variations in which the victim sends money and receives nothing. Identity thieves may also ask victims to provide Social Security numbers or other personal information in a reply envelope or on the phone.

How can Visa help protect me from mail and phone fraud?

Visa is committed to keeping you informed about the latest frauds and providing essential advice to help you avoid becoming a victim. For example, the 3-digit security code on the back of your Visa card tells merchants that you have physical possession of your card during online and phone transactions. Learn about the other ways Visa stays ahead of the scammers by reading about the Visa Security Program and staying current with our Fraud News blog.

How can I reduce my risk of phone and mail fraud scams?

It's important for consumers to know that Visa will not call or e-mail cardholders to request their personal account information. Visa call centers do not initiate outbound telemarketing calls. If you receive such a call, hang up. Report any suspicious calls or emails by calling the number on the back of your payment card or by contacting the FTC's Complaint Assistant. Cardholders should also know that Visa's zero liability* fraud policy ensures that they are not held responsible for any unauthorized purchases.

You should never give out account or personal information over the phone or in response to a mailing unless you initiated the communication yourself or have positively verified the source. Notify your local post office immediately if you change your address, make sure your mailbox is locked or not accessible to outsiders, and remove delivered mail promptly. On the phone, don't be afraid to ask questions, including asking for a number to call back.

Visa encourages you to learn about more tips for protecting yourself as well as information about the latest scams.You can also get news and advice by following us on Twitter @VisaSecurity.

Where can I learn more about phone and mail fraud scams?

When in doubt, consult the Better Business Bureau. For mail, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service can help. For phone fraud, be sure to notify your creditor, phone company, and the Federal Trade Commission immediately.

*Covers U.S.-issued cards only. Does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Individual provisional credit amounts are provided on a provisional basis and may be withheld, delayed, limited, or rescinded by your issuer based on factors such as gross negligence or fraud, delay in reporting unauthorized use, investigation and verification of claim and account standing and history. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Transaction at issue must be posted to your account before provisional credit may be issued. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.

Did You Know?

By providing the 3-digit code from the back of your Visa card when shopping online or by phone, you confirm that the card is in your physical possession.
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