Car selling scam?
February 16, 2011 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Why would someone steal a credit card number to setup a Vonage phone number and buy a advert?

About 3 months ago my office-mate found that someone fraudulently charged his credit card. The offender purchased a Vonage account and a advertisement. My office-mate canceled the card and got his money back.

A few days ago I noticed the same charges on my card statement. I called Vonage to report it. A customer support rep from Vonage told me that someone bought a phone number (480-503-8207) and setup the account from the web from an IP number I called but unfortunately they did not have any information other than a purchase receipt.

I did a search for the phone number and found an add for a 2002 Chevy Silverado truck


I canceled the credit card and the charges will be reversed. Aside from the fact that my office-mate and I got our card numbers stolen by the same person, why would that person setup a phone number and a car ad?
posted by geonags to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Someone in your business IT group perhaps?
posted by jerseygirl at 12:06 PM on February 16, 2011

Best answer: They're selling a hot car?
posted by zippy at 12:15 PM on February 16, 2011

Someone used one of my credit card numbers a couple of years ago to buy a small amount of gas. The bank called me to check the transaction, and told me this is such a classic way for a thief with a stolen credit card number to check if the card will work for them that it raised an immediate flag at the bank's fraud center. So -- maybe that's what's going on here. The amount for the ad was probably nominal.
posted by bearwife at 12:26 PM on February 16, 2011

Yup, 480 is a Phoenix number -- it sounds like they're using your credit card number to buy some stuff and move a stolen car.

Needless to say, it's a good idea that you got the card cancelled.

I would still recommend reporting it to authorities, along with your officemate -- there is probably some mutual Point-Of-Sale place that was or worse still IS harvesting credit card numbers.

(Or, worse, some unscrupulous ass at your company like jerseygirl said.)

Thank you for reminding me to use cash next time I'm in PHX.
posted by Heretical at 12:33 PM on February 16, 2011

bearwife may well be correct. It could also be a variant on the old Craigslist car scams: Car for sale at unbelievably good price, but due to [insert scam excuses] you must buy it sight-unseen and they'll ship it to you. Hurry! There are lots of interested buyers and I can't hold it for you for long!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:35 PM on February 16, 2011

A lot of times they do small charges to see if the card is valid and hope no one notices. Usually it's itunes, though.
posted by empath at 2:48 PM on February 16, 2011

Oh, yes, and I agree that they are probably selling a stolen car.
posted by empath at 2:49 PM on February 16, 2011

For what little it's worth, the IP address is from AOL.
posted by zippy at 12:26 PM on March 9, 2011

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