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July 20, 2008

Scam Alert: No numbers; no way and no how

THE SCAM: Credit card PIN

HOW IT WORKS: Losing money: bad. Losing your credit card number: worse. Giving out the identification numbers on the back of your credit card: disastrous. Someone who claims to work at the victim's credit card company says it has detected possible fraud on the account. The caller asks for the last three digits of the number on the back of the card "for verification purposes." That is the personal identification security number for the card, and it can be used for Internet transactions, phone transactions and other kinds of fraud.

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Your credit account, which can quickly be run up by clever con artists

HOW TO BEAT IT: Even if the caller claims to be from your credit card company, don't give out the PIN. Say you'll check on the fraud situation yourself, and hang up.

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