Telephone Fraud Protection

Telephone Fraud Protection

Ever gotten a call claiming to be from your card issuer? Unless you've initiated the call, it's best to avoid giving out account or personal information over the phone. Ensure the safety of your financial information by following these quick tips for smart telephone interactions.

Reduce your risk of telephone fraud scams

When you're speaking with an unknown caller, keep in mind these tactics for avoiding phone fraud:

  • When in doubt, ask for more information in writing about the organization calling or the offer being presented.
  • Never feel obligated to provide your credit card number over the phone.
  • Educate yourself about the cost of “900” number calls and how you can block such calls from getting through.
  • Get as many details as you can – for example, ask how much of your donation will go toward the charity as opposed to paying for administrative costs. The fewer questions the caller can answer, the less likely he or she is legitimate.
  • Get a call-back number, either so you can initiate the call yourself or because you may need to report it later.
  • Stay informed so you're aware of the latest trends in telephone fraud.

Learn more about common types of fraud in our Learn the Facts section.

Your best response

If you encounter one of these all-too-common scenarios, you'll be prepared to handle it.

  • If you get a call from someone posing as a representative from your financial institution and asking for your account or personal information, hang up immediately and call your bank to verify any claims.
  • If a telemarketer offers you a get-rich-quick opportunity, the best response is to turn him or her down right away.
  • Avoid offers informing you that you've won a prize. Respondents are often asked to pay for “shipping” or a “deposit” for a prize that never existed in the first place.
  • Be wary of calls soliciting contributions to charitable causes, particularly those regarding disaster relief. Many times, these solicitors are not legitimate. You're better off choosing a worthy cause and contacting them yourself than responding to a random telefunding request.

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. Consumers should not respond to any e-mails or phone calls with requests for any personal card information and are advised to immediately report the situation to local law enforcement as well as the financial institution that issued their card. Cardholders should also know that Visa's zero liability* fraud policy ensures that they are not held responsible for any unauthorized purchases.

If you've been the victim of fraud or identity theft, consult Call For Action. You can get more tips on how to protect your financial information at the Better Business Bureau.

*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?

Many telephone scams involve a caller pretending to solicit donations for disaster relief.
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