Card Cracking: What is it? And how you can protect yourself
“Need cash quick with no strings attached? Have I got a deal for you?”
Who couldn’t use some extra money, especially high school or college students that are just finding their way in the real world? The newest get rich quick scheme is called “Card Cracking” and it is aimed at the younger generation who are new to credit cards and bank accounts and maybe just gullible enough to believe that if it is on the Internet it must be legitimate, right?
“Card Cracking”- How it works:
- Card Cracking involves online solicitation through social media: a tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post offering a way to “get some fast cash” often disguised as a scholarship opportunity.
- The thief then pressures the victim to grant access to a savings or checking account in exchange for some easy money on the back end.
- The thief deposits phony checks using a mobile deposit app.
- Now that the thief has access to account numbers and PIN information they withdraw some or all of the money in the account.
- The student is coached to then report the card to the bank as stolen in order to get the funds reimbursed.
By the time the bank discovers that the deposited checks were fake, the money has already been withdrawn. In addition to the bank getting duped, the student will likely never see the promised kickback of the stolen funds from the thief. Once the police are involved and the student is determined to be involved in the process, they can be held financially responsible or criminally charged with the theft.
Dozens of students have fallen victim to this form of theft damaging their financial reputation and leaving them with empty bank accounts. Card Cracking may sound like a victimless crime and a harmless way to get extra funds fast, but like so many other get rich quick schemes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.