Card Cracking

Card Cracking is a scheme to defraud consumers via online solicitations to earn "easy-money" or to work-from-home. The fraudsters usually target younger people and use vehicles such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to lure in victims.

How Does Card Cracking Work?

Once the individual has responded to a solicitation, they are usually asked for their debit card number, PIN and other account information for direct access to the account. Once the fraudsters have what they need, they begin to deposit fraudulent checks into the account, and then withdraw the funds immediately through the ATM. The bank customer is then instructed to call the bank and claim fraud on the ATM withdrawal. Once the money is refunded, the fraudster provides a portion of the refund money back to the bank customer.

Guard Yourself

To help consumers avoid involvement in this scam, the American Bankers Association (ABA) and CoreFirst offer the following tips:

  • Do not respond to online solicitations for "easy money." Card cracking advertisements will suggest that this is a quick, safe way to earn extra cash. Keep in mind that easy money is rarely legal money.
  • Never share your account number and PIN. Keep this information private at all times. By sharing it with others, you expose yourself to potential fraud.
  • Do not file false fraud claims with your bank. By filing a false claim, you are a co-conspirator to fraud. Banks' detection techniques for card cracking are constantly improving and suspicious claims will be investigated.
  • Report suspicious posts linked with scams. If you notice postings that appear to be linked with a possible scam, report them to the social media site. There is usually a drop-down menu near the post to allow for easy reporting.

Learn More

The ABA's infographic on Card Cracking is a great first step in arming yourself against this type of attack.