Card Cracking Scams: Your Personal Connection to Criminals

Card Cracking Scams: Your Personal Connection to CriminalsLarge breaches of consumer information from retailers may be making all the headlines, but other scams are also causing chaos. There is a new twist on old fraud techniques that is individually targeting consumers.

College students and young adults are often very active on social media, and they often need to make extra money. Criminals are taking advantage of these situations with a new version of a money mule type of scam.

It’s called Card Cracking or Card Popping. Criminals will make a personal connection to an account holder on social media, sometimes with a private message or a video, and offer to help them make easy money by giving up their debit or ATM card and PIN information.

The unusual part of the Card Cracking scam is that it turns the account holder into a co-conspirator. The account holder gives the criminals the information and fraudulent funds are deposited. The criminals and the account holder can then both draw money out at an ATM before the fake deposit is discovered. The account holder then files a fraud report. The only one who gets hurt is the financial institution.

Of course, the account holder is hurt as well. A person who just wanted to make some extra money has now become a felon. The account holder could go to jail for a long time for such a scam, and the criminals have moved on to their next target.

New variations on this scam are happening all the time. One Michigan student was taken to Chicago with the promise of a scholarship, but she was abandoned and her bank account was drained. Other scams may target college students looking for jobs who give up account information for a supposed credit check. And these types of scams aren’t limited to young people. Anyone could fall prey to a scam.

The best way to prevent these types of scams is to be vigilant with your personal and account information. Don’t take the bait, especially when it could mean you will end up serving time in prison.

Always remember, if it sounds or looks too good to be true, it usually is.


Detroit Free Press


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