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Important Debit Cardholders Information: Debit Card Scams

Criminals are becoming increasingly more effective in crafting and executing clever plans to obtain confidential cardholder information. The following examples highlight the latest attempts to capture data from your debit card: 

#1: The scam begins with a telephone call from the fraudster to you claiming to be from MasterCard® or Visa® and wanting to verify unusual purchases from your account. Since there were really no purchases made, the cardholder will state and transactions are not valid and is then told by the scam artist that a credit will be issues to his/her account. In order to process the credit, the cardholder is asked to provide card number and the three digit code on the signature panel of the card, or the card verification value. If the cardholder provides the code, the caller will indicate the code verifies the card is in the cardholder's possession and hangs up. The fraudster now has the three digit code in conjunction with the card number and expiration date they already know. The scam artist can now begin making fraudulent Internet or telephone purchases. Typically, if you receive a call with a fraudster claiming to be from MasterCard® , the next day you may receive one claiming to be from Visa® or visa versa. 

#2: The scam begins with a fraudster posing as a representative of MasterCard® or Visa® asking cardholders for account information to confirm a prize they have supposedly won. The caller may already have some information about the cardholder, such as name, card number and card expiration date. The caller asks questions to get the three digit code on the signature panel on the back of the card. Once the scam artist has this information, they are able to shop online or by telephone. 

These requests sound legitimate. In both scams, the fraudsters go as far as providing employee identification numbers and fake names. They sometimes give the cardholder a reference or control number and advise them to call the toll-free number on their card if they have questions. Please be advised neither MasterCard® or Visa® makes calls directly to cardholders and would never call to verify or ask for any proprietary information, including the card verification value code. If you receive a telephone call requesting card information, it is imperative you do not disclose any personal information, account details or card information. 

Cardholders should promptly notify the bank and local law enforcement if you receive suspicious calls or give out your three digit code. Cardholders should also closely monitor their statements for any unfamiliar or unauthorized transactions.  

When Internet Scam Artists Go "Phishing," Don't Take the Bait, FDIC Consumer News 

How to avoid being lured into giving out personal information
Law enforcement officials use the word "phishing" to describe a type of identity theft by which scammers use fake Web sites and e-mails to fish for valuable personal information from consumers. The FBI also is calling it the "hottest and most troubling new scam on the Internet." Even the FDIC's good name was used fraudulently in a phishing scheme.

In the typical phishing scam, you receive an e-mail supposedly from a company or financial institution you may do business with or from a government agency. The e-mail describes a reason you must "verify" or "re-submit" confidential information — such as bank account and credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) — using a return e-mail, a form on a linked Web site, or a pop-up message with the name and even the logo of the company or government agency. Perhaps you're told that your bank account information has been lost or stolen or that limits may be imposed on your account unless you provide additional details. If you comply, the thieves hiding behind the seemingly legitimate Web site or e-mail can use the information to make unauthorized withdrawals from your bank account, pay for online purchases using your credit card, or even sell your personal information to other thieves. (See article link below for full text)


Consumer Education Articles:

FDIC Consumer Alerts

FDIC Money Smart News

Below are links to government websites and resources concerning online identity theft and steps you can take to protect yourself online.