Skip to content

Beware new credit card telephone scam

Dear Editor:

“Robert Gabriel” phoned our home phone recently. He addressed me by name and told me the expiration date on my Visa card was a misprint and needed to be replaced and that my card was actually expiring in two weeks.

He asked me to verify the date on the card I had in my possession. I told him I did not give that info over the phone. He said: “OK. Just phone the number on the back of your Visa card. Then you can ask for me.” He even gave me an employee number. He did emphasize I had to phone him back immediately after hanging up with him. Which I did. I talked to the ‘receptionist’ who then connected me with “Robert Gabriel” again.

I still didn’t trust all this, since when I phoned back, I didn’t get the standard recording: “You have reached the RBC Royal Bank. Please press 1 for English” etc. But since I was the one phoning him now, I figured it should be fine. He proceeded to try and put me at ease by saying I had now phoned the number on the back of my card; I now knew he was legit. He asked for my expiry date again, and also for the card number, the security number and my mailing address/birthday.

In the meantime, I was getting more and more uncomfortable and decided to phone the number on the back of my Visa using my cellphone. This time, I did get the official RBC message and was connected with an agent after I reported my card stolen. I asked him to cancel the card right away. I told him I was scammed and how that could happen since I phoned the scammers back with the number on the back of my Visa card. The agent didn’t know. He did confirm with me my real expiry date, which is what is on my Visa card to begin with. During my conversation with the agent on the cellphone, the scammer hung up on the home phone.

This leaves me very unsettled. How could I be connected back to the scammer after I hung up and phoned the 1-800 number for the Royal Bank? This scammer now has my address and birth date and who knows what he can do with that? I cannot change those like I did my Visa card.

Chantal van der Molen