There are several versions of this scam. Some are automated calls that leave a callback number; some talk with the victim.
One version of the SCAM works like this. The victim receives a recorded message from a credit card or bank. The message indicates that the credit card or bank has detected unusual activity and would like the consumer to call them back to verify the activity. The message leaves a 800 number for the consumer to call. When the call is made the consumer is asked to enter their 15 digit account number so that the account can be retrieved. Once the account number is entered the consumer is connected to an operator who asks for additional information to verify that the caller is the owner of the account. At this point the criminals have everything they need to steal money from your bank account or to make charges on your account.
The PROBLEM with this tactic is it is the same process your bank or credit card company would use for a legitimate “fraud” alert phone call. That familiar process is what the criminals are hoping will make you comfortable enough to divulge information you would normally not share in an email or over the phone.
The SOLUTION is to only call the 800 number listed on the back of your credit card or bank card. Never call the number left on the recorded message. Taking a few minutes to retrieve your card and to locate the telephone number on the back can save you a big headache later.