Clever phishing attempt

My phone just rang. It was a call from +1-817-688-7853. The other end was an Interactive Voice Response script.

Me: "Hello?"

IVR: "Hello. For security purposes, your Visa debit card has been deactivated for debit and ATM use..."

First reaction on my end was "oh, great. Somewhere, someone got my details..."
I listened through the prompts and there was no option to speak to a real human. I tried "0" "*" and "#" multiple times, to no avail. It just kept playing the short prompt menu over and over again. I chose option 1, to "re-activate" my card, suspecting a ruse. On cue, it asked me for my 16-digit card number, followed by #. I entered "00#" figuring it would error out. But it asked me if that was correct. It prompted me for my expiration date (0000) and CVV code (000) as well. Then, it came back:

IVR: "Thank you. Your Visa card has been re-activated. Goodbye."

Me: "F*** you." *click*

Calling the number back got me some boilerplate error message.

Be careful out there, folks. Banks will de-activate your card if they suspect it has been compromised, but they will never give you the option to re-activate it over the phone like this, especially with an automated IVR system. Typically, they issue you a new card, sometimes with the exact same account number and expiration date, but with a different CVV code.

blog comments powered by Disqus