Old Oct 18, 13, 10:28 pm
  #2584  
jasonvr
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA scum/0.688MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
Posts: 5,059
Well, for the first time in over 150 GCs totaling over 60k, I got hit by a scam. Went to go load my usual 4x500 at WM and one of the cards wouldn't work. I remembered this card as it felt a little odd when I took it out of the package, but didn't think much of it because it was a design I had never bought. After it didn't work, I took a very close look at it and found a very precise sticker had been placed over the entire lower portion of the back of the card, including the activation bard code At that point, I knew what had happened

I immediately called the number on the back (not on the sticker) and entered the card number into the automated system (Metabank) and it immediately told me the card was no longer active and hung up on me.... So I called back and hit the option to report the card stolen. Talked to a woman who said they could do nothing and to go back to the store with the receipt. Luckily, I am a pack rat and very organized and I had it. Every receipt (purchase and load) get coded with a 2 digit code and the card is marked with the same code (EQ in this case). Raced home, dug out the receipt and went back to the store. Talked to the manager and was told I have to call customer service, which I did from the store. Got thru to someone, but apparently I need to talk to the GC department and they are only open M-F 7-7

Talked more to the manager. Apparently, it's not the first time it has happened. He said that previously another manager noticed someone acting suspicious and quickly reviewed security camera footage. The guy had bought a bunch of cards into the store and placed them on the rack, then had gone back out to the car to get more and walked back in to put them on the rack as well. The manager quickly called the cops and the guy was arrested with hundreds of cards in his trunk! The manager looked at my card and tried a few things on it (scratching on the barcode, running his finger over it to feel the bumps, etc) and concluded it was the best scam he'd seen so far. Usually when he runs his fingers over it, he can tell it is fake and if you rub, the paper sticker starts to rub off. Neither occurred on this one. And the package was perfectly intact (I always check).

So, even with perfect diligence, you can still get scammed. And people wonder why I keep a spreadsheet, code every card and receipt, and save everything. That'll also teach me to get new designs. I usually go for the plain black or grey ones, this time I got yellow... The last time I get a different design of a card to mix things up it was a Celebrate MC and you can just look at the wiki for how well that went.

This scam is similar to one I read about in another thread, but more sophisticated:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21481646-post407.html

Edit:
A little more info, I just figured out what the three digit code that was written in blue is on the front of the card - it's the real CVV for that physical card! I thought it was some sort of tracking code for the scammer.

Here are some pics. The black outs are done by me before posting the pics. The blue coding number on the front was obviously done by the scammer (can't believe I didn't catch that when I opened the package, but I had no reason to look at the front at all).








Last edited by jasonvr; Oct 18, 13 at 10:42 pm
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