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Opinion: I almost fell for a Burnaby scam over ‘suspicious activity’ on my Visa card. Yikes

He got a call from a smooth talker and almost got suckered.
Credit card
(via Glacier Media)

Scams are everywhere and I often write about them, with locals telling me about how they were duped by scammers.

I sometimes wonder how people could possibly be that gullible. And then I almost got duped myself. Now I’m not feeling all that superior.

The incident happened over the weekend when I got a call that showed up on my cell phone as being from the banking institution where I have a Visa card account. The caller said there was “suspicious activity” on my credit card and that they were warning me about the situation. I asked some questions and the guy on the other line listed off a bunch of purchases made in Metro Vancouver stores, including at Metropolis at Metrotown shopping centre.

I could feel the panic inside as some of my worst fears were being realized. I had all these questions in my head about what I was supposed to do next. The caller was calm and tried to reassure me that there were solutions to the situation and that I would not get charged for purchases that I didn’t make.

I felt some trust that a person was helping me and so when he started asking for some personal information to “confirm” my account, I didn’t get suspicious.

Fortunately, I had the call on speaker phone because my girlfriend was listening in from the other room. She suddenly came rushing in and told me to ask for a callback number that this person could be reached at so we could check the account myself online to verify things.

That’s when the caller started pushing back, telling me I didn’t need to do that and how he could fix things from his end.

That’s also when my girlfriend hung up the phone.

After checking my account online, I discovered that there were not unusual purchases being made (I rarely use a credit card for anything).

The whole thing was a big, fat, dirty scam.

And I almost fell for it. I was so concerned about fixing things that I didn’t take the time to question if there was really a situation to be fixed.

As always, my girlfriend is so much smarter than I am.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.