April 28th, 2017
Today, most people are aware that credit card fraud is a serious concern and that if you are the victim of a scam you can expect countless headaches and many sleepless nights. With the added security offered by the EMV-chip-enabled credit and debit cards, most consumers are sleeping easier. But don’t stop your vigilance now, because, as has happened before, just as soon as the banks upped their technology, so did the scammers.
In the past, before the influx of computer technology, scammers would collect discarded carbon copies of transactions, and “mine” the numbers. The “miners” would net between $4 and $12 per number as they sold it to their buyer. Today, it is a very rare occasion to see a credit card carbon, and most consumers are aware of the need to shred any copies generated. So, where have the perpetrators of fraud gone now? Most frauds today occur when the holder of the card, and the card itself are not present or through consumer naivete.
Card and Owner Not Physically Present
1. Fraudsters will install malware on your computer without your knowledge, generally through an email hack. The malware is designed to collect passwords and financial institution account numbers.
2. Wait staff swiping cards for legitimate transaction and then swiping a second time into a skimmer which records credit card numbers for “mining” purposes.
3. Unattended credit card readers; ATM’s, gas pumps, and parking meters, are vulnerable to the installation of remote skimmers which are used to “mine” credit card numbers in large volumes.
4. Fraudsters will sometimes create fake emergencies to draw cashiers away from their posts. They will then install a remote skimmer that is removed later, after having “mined” credit card information.
5. Free Wi-Fi sounds good, but can be an avenue for installation of malware or “mining” of bank institution information.
Fraud perpetrators are learning that one of the easiest ways to collect card numbers and security codes is by playing on the emotions of the consumer. Many people are not as vigilant if they trust the caller, are scared, or are excited.
1. Particularly attractive to those in debt, scammers call the consumer offering to reduce credit card rates. As the call progresses, the offer is made to reduce outstanding debt for a small upfront fee. The FTC has become aware of this practice and it is now against the law to charge an upfront fee.
2. The Jury Duty Scam feeds on your fear. The caller, representing themselves as an officer of the court, indicates that you have missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued for your arrest. When you respond that you did not receive a notice, the scammer will indicate a need to verify some information to clear you of charges. Feeling fearful, many people share their personal information (birth date, Social Security Numbers), to clear their name. A variation of this scam is the caller indicating that since you have missed jury duty, you owe a fine which you may pay over the phone by providing your credit card information.
3. The Fraud Department Security Scam is probably the most insidious scam out there and the one most likely to net results. The beauty of this scam, is that the caller provides the consumer with almost all their private information as they verify your identity, the key word here is “almost,” the scammer needs one small piece of information, the security code from your card. The call goes something like this; I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department of Master Card and your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase. Did you purchase a medical devise from a firm in New York for $487.99. When you answer “No,” the caller indicates that a credit will be issued to your account and goes on to verify your information. The caller provides you with your address, and maybe the last four digits on your card, and gives you a control number for your claim. The caller indicates they need to confirm that you have the card in your possession, and asks you to repeat the numbers on the back of your card. When you read the numbers off to the caller, you have fulfilled their goal, you have provided the 3-digit security pin number from your card.
Most consumers are aware that they need to screen their account statement for fraudulent charges, and that hasn’t changed. In 2015 the implementation of EMV chips slowed unauthorized withdrawals and charges on existing accounts from $14 billion to $12 billion. EMV chips, named after their creators, Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, create a unique transaction code when used which makes collecting credit card numbers less lucrative for scammers. Fraud perpetrators are turning more-and-more to identity theft as it becomes more lucrative. In 2015 new account fraud increased from $2 billion to $3 billion.
Your partners at Frisch Financial are always working diligently to ensure the financial safety of you and your family. Should you ever have a concern or suspect that your personal information may have been compromised, please contact us so that we may assist you.