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#161786 - 02/19/04 12:44 PM 3 digit number on back of credit card
Patsy Cline Offline
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Registered: 09/19/02
Posts: 1117
Loc: On the road...
I've seen it lately that companies are now asking for the 3 digit number on the back of a credit card in addition to the expiration date. Just what is that number and how does it help authorize the transaction?
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#161787 - 02/19/04 12:48 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Skittles Offline
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Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 12362
Loc: KY
I don't know, but I've been required to provide it a few times when doing Internet transactions.
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#161788 - 02/19/04 12:49 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Tisa Offline
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Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Do you know the way to ...
It's a verification number that's printed on the card but not encoded on the magnetic strip. It helps verify that it's the actual card being presented, and not a forgery.

Just yesterday there was a credit-card theft ring busted in the San Jose (CA) area -- waiters at various restaurants were swiping credit cards into hand-held readers and getting the mag-strip data to create their own cards.

By requiring the verification number from the back, it makes cards like that virtually worthless.
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#161789 - 02/19/04 12:50 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Anonymous
Unregistered


It is a security code that I think is not imbedded in the magnetic strip so if someone scans the card they do not get the code. Need to see what a VISA or MasterCard Guru has to say.

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#161790 - 02/19/04 12:50 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Rubaiyat Offline
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Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 1373
Loc: Lido Deck
The 3 digit number is an added assurance to a vendor that the person using the card actually has the card in hand. The idea is to eliminate someone from accessing the card by only the credit card number. It's obviously not failsafe, but just adds an additional security step to transactions, particularly those done over the phone or on the internet.
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#161791 - 02/19/04 12:52 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Andy Z Offline


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That is why Tisa is a BOL veteran; seconds count in posting replies. But all replies are welcomed.
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#161792 - 02/19/04 12:52 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Retread Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 2521
Loc: Southeast
I do not pretend to know all of the technical aspects of it, but as I understand it, that number is impregnated in the mag stripe along with your account number. You would not normally know that number unless you have the card in your possession and can see the number. To some extent that keeps people from buying merchandise with stolen credit card numbers because the three digit number on the card is not part of the account number and the person with the stolen number would not know what it is. Of course, if they have stolen your card, that is a different story.
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#161793 - 02/19/04 12:57 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Tisa Offline
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Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 938
Loc: Do you know the way to ...
Quote:

That is why Tisa is a BOL veteran; seconds count in posting replies. But all replies are welcomed.




Gee, and I thought I was taking my own sweet time to type up my reply...
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#161794 - 02/19/04 01:02 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Rubaiyat Offline
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Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 1373
Loc: Lido Deck
I think Andy makes a good point. I've found it very helpful to get multiple answers to a question even if they all agree. It adds weight if I am trying to make a point or convince someone about a particular issue.
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#161795 - 02/19/04 01:06 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
WildTurkey Offline
Platinum Poster

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 921
Loc: Down South, USA
Quote:

It is a security code that I think is not imbedded in the magnetic strip so if someone scans the card they do not get the code. ....



Not only is the number not in the mag strip, it also doesn't appear on credit receipts, so even if somebody obtains a credit transaction receipt which shows your 16 digit account number (not all do now, many substitute X's for the first 12 digits) and the expiry date, they still won't know those three sneaky digits on the back of the card.
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#161796 - 02/19/04 01:09 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Justin Case Offline
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Registered: 05/07/02
Posts: 777
Loc: first lily pad on the right
There are 2 different card verification values: one is encoded on the magnetic stripe of the card and the second one is indent printed on the signature panel following the card number. The encoded value is used in card present transactions. And as others have mentioned, the second value is used in card NOT present transactions. The purpose of these security codes is to thwart counterfeiters attempts to create cards when they may have only the card number.
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#161797 - 02/19/04 01:24 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Retread Offline
Power Poster

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 2521
Loc: Southeast
For what it is worth.

Three digit code
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#161798 - 02/19/04 01:43 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Anonymous
Unregistered


If the waiters were in possession of the cards to swipe them, they would also have access to be able to write down the three digit code on the back of the card before handing it back. It doesn't seem like this code would help all that much in that instance.

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#161799 - 02/19/04 01:53 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Andy Z Offline


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Registered: 10/27/00
Posts: 25489
Loc: On the Net
Quote:

If the waiters were in possession of the cards to swipe them, they would also have access to be able to write down the three digit code on the back of the card before handing it back. It doesn't seem like this code would help all that much in that instance.




Often they are swiping it and getting on with the transaction. To stop and know which number goes with which card would draw attention to their game. It is possible, however to do it.

I saw once where these guys had the reader affixed to the inside of their coats. They'd swipe it and record data as they went to the register. Periodically they'd transfer the data to a wireless PDA and send the numbers to a conspirator who could be using the card before the customer was back on the road after dinner.
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My opinions are not necessarily my employers.
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#161800 - 02/19/04 02:20 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
John Burnett Offline


10K Club

Registered: 10/27/00
Posts: 32406
Loc: Cape Cod
I've decided not to let my cards out of my sight. I don't give a card to a server in a restaurant -- I take it to the cashier and keep an eye on it as it's being used. On the rare occasion that I go to other than a self-serve gas station, I follow the card into the cashier, rather than give it to the pump jockey. Inconvenient as hell sometimes, especially when it's raining, but . . .

There's one pizza joint we frequent that has its card terminal in a back room, instead of at the cash register. I told the owner I'd only come in when I wanted to pay cash, and told him why. He's after his service rep to have it relocated to the "front."
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#161801 - 02/19/04 03:33 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Pup Offline
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Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 5045
Loc: Pedaling along a scenic highwa...
I saw a good video on "skimming" at the IAFCI conference in Arlington, TX last year. I believe it was put out by the USPIS or the USSS. It's WAY too easy to get away with and the security number (3 digit number) seems to be a pretty good deterrent if used by a merchant to verify the authenticity of the card being used. The fact that they are not REQUIRED to obtain this number seems a little batty to me as it is NOT in the best interest (financially) of the merchant to do so. They get paid no matter what, right? I'd like to see this verification become mandatory for all phone-call or internet based transactions.

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#161802 - 02/19/04 03:33 PM Re: 3 digit number on back of credit card
Happy Camper Offline
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Registered: 12/22/03
Posts: 186
Loc: 2FALLS
I just sent an alert to all of our employees on this very subject. Following is the alert I received from a credit union.

This scam was brought to my attention by one of our employees and should be read by anyone who has a credit card. Allen



A pretty convincing scam to be aware of. My husband was called on Wednesday from "VISA" and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". It worked like this: Person calling says, "This is Carl Patterson and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card issued by 5/3 bank. Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?" When you say "No". The caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You say, "Yes". The caller continues..."I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 800 number listed on your card 1-800-VISA and ask for Security. you will need to refer to this Control #". Then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?" Caller then says he "needs to verify you are in possession of your card. Turn the card over. There are 7 numbers; first 4 are 1234(whatever) the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are in possession of the card. These are the numbers you use to make internet purchases to prove you have the card. Read me the 3 numbers." Then he says "That is correct. I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions? Don't hesitate to call back if you do."

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA security dept. told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 WAS put on our card.

Long story made short...we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA card and they are reissuing as a new number. What the scam wants is the 3 digit number! and that once the charge goes through, they keep charging every few days. By the time you get your statement, you think the credit coming, and then its harder to actually file a fraud report. The real VISA reinforced that they will never ask for anything on the card (they already know). What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word for word repeat of the VISA Scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up. We filed a police report (as instructed by VISA), and they said they are taking several of these reports daily and to tell friends, relatives and co-workers.

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