Credit card scam prompts warning

North Taieri resident is warning others to keep credit card details confidential after almost falling victim to a travel phone scam last week.

Trudi Woodhouse said yesterday she received a call, which lasted about 20 minutes, on Saturday afternoon.

She spoke to a male caller, and then a female supervisor, and both the people and the details presented were "very convincing".

The callers claimed to represent Great Getaways, an Australian-based company. They also referred to other legitimate companies such as Telecom and ANZ.

In return for $199, they were offering more than $800 of travel and accommodation vouchers, and cheap travel deals for the next two years.

Mrs Woodhouse's suspicions were alerted when she was asked for her cellphone number.

Shortly afterwards, she was asked for her credit card expiry date.

She said she knew what was coming next.

"I said 'you must think I am barking mad, this is obviously a scam', and I hung up."

Some unofficial detective work followed, and Mrs Woodhouse discovered the callers had supplied a Melbourne address which did not exist.

She tried to contact them on the number from which they had called, and two 0800 numbers they had supplied.

All were disconnected.

Mrs Woodhouse said she had spoken publicly in the hope of preventing people from being taken in by the scam.

She had also spoken to the police.

Senior Sergeant Brian Benn, of Dunedin, said yesterday he was not aware of other complaints about such a scam.

However, he said people should be very careful giving bank and credit card information and never disclose details such as PINs.

- Andrea Jones

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