Dirty #Debit Deeds We Expect to See in 2017

Robocalls, social media schemes and criminals posing as fraud investigators are just a few tricks likely to pick up steam this year.

Debit chip cards are on the scene in greater numbers, yet they are far from ubiquitous – leaving just enough room for fraudsters to keep up their dirty deeds. That is not to say these criminals aren’t feeling the pressure to innovate. They can see chip cards flooding the market and know it’s only a matter of time before the old dogs among them have to learn new tricks.

Here are just a few of the debit card tricks, traps and scams we expect to see pick up steam in the coming year.

  • Robocalls telling victims their debit cards have been locked – Nervous cardholders follow instructions in the calls, one of which is to key in their card numbers, expiration dates and PINs. All of this information, delivered right to the scammer, is used to produce counterfeit debit cards to pull cash from ATMs or make purchases in-store and online. 
  • Card-cracking artists using social media to lure victims – Millennials are the targets of these scams, which ask debit cardholders to share their cards and PINs as a way of earning extra cash. Scammers deposit fake checks into the associated accounts, make immediate withdrawals and then share some of the cash with the victims. When victims’ financial institutions (FIs) eventually find fraudulent checks, the debit cardholders are left holding the bag.
  • Seniors being tricked into handing over cards in their homes – In what is a particularly offensive move, con artists posing as FIs’ fraud investigators have begun to talk their way into the homes of people as old as 96. Once inside, they convince victims to swap cards, saying their original card was compromised. 

Share these tips with cardholders to help protect them from card fraud.

  • Don’t investigate – Even if you know it’s a trap and are just curious, don’t give into the temptation to poke around a scam. Privacy and security experts warn that punching in even one number on a robocall or clicking even one link in a phony email can get you added to a list of potential victims.
  • Don’t fall for ‘get cash quick’ schemes – If something sounds too good to be true on social media, it most likely is. Ignore claims like “Instant reward,” “Free to start” and “Get paid on the spot.”
  • Understand how your credit union or bank works – Your FI will never visit your home to deliver a new card and will not ask you to enter personal information via telephone or email. If you have questions about what to expect from your FI, make sure to contact the FI directly.