It can take many forms - a notification that you won a social media contest, a desperate plea from someone who "lost" their debit card, or a text offering you a cut of a shady deal. It's a scam called card cracking, and it has cost financial institutions about $11.6 million in stolen money as of May 2015. If you're a college student, single parent, or newly enlisted service member, you're more likely to be a target of card cracking.
How It Works
A con artist offers you a sum of money under the guise of a prize or as a "thank you" for helping them when they claim to be locked out of their own account. The scammer says they need your account information, PIN, or other financial institution credentials in order to deposit checks into your account. However, the checks are fraudulent. The funds from the checks are cashed out immediately before your financial institution can find out that they're fakes. To make matters worse, the scammers may drain your legitimate funds, too.
The Social Connection
The sources of many card cracking schemes are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The personal information accessible on these sites allows criminals to tailor the scam to the victim. For example, if it appears you're in college, the scammers may create a fake scholarship offer for you. Additionally, social media makes it easy to spread the word on the deceitful offers.
If you have questions about your card security or believe that you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, contact us immediately at (501) 375-5321 or visit us at www.telcoe.com.