03-19-2014 01:30 PM
Is someone approaching you through Facebook® or Twitter®, offering a “legitimate” way to make $5,000, $10,000 or more in exchange for personal information, such as your debit card number and PIN, and a few hundred dollars? Don’t fall for it. It’s fraud.
In December, USAA’s Enterprise Security Group began investigating a new type of fraud called card popping. It’s a variation of the old fake-check fraud. But in this new version, individuals and gangs use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram® to solicit USAA members’ participation, then use mobile banking applications to commit fraud.
In this scam, fraudsters claim that if you give them your account information, including debit card number, PIN, online login and other sensitive information, they’ll use your account for allegedly legitimate purposes and leave you with more money than they take out.
In some cases, for example, the scammers say they’ll use your bank account information to cash checks because they are unable to do so themselves.
In other cases, the fraudsters’ intentions appear less clear, but the motive and method are the same. You’re promised money in return for account information. Once the scammers gain access to your bank account, they use it to deposit bad checks, then withdraw money before the checks are discovered to be fake.
“Card popping is an emerging fraud that’s affecting customers at many financial institutions, including USAA,” says Tom Shaw, vice president of Enterprise Financial Crimes Management. “As always, we are aggressively addressing this issue and helping protect our members by working closely with the financial community and law enforcement. It is a shared responsibility between USAA and our members to fight fraud.”
Below are actual examples of messages used to attract USAA members to their scams.
Beware: It’s fraud
Besides losing money and risking identity theft, if you willingly participate in card popping, you may face criminal charges. Regardless of who deposits a bad check, the account holder is ultimately responsible for any money withdrawn.
The USAA Enterprise Security Group is actively investigating cases of card popping, and participants may be prosecuted. Members should be vigilant and do their part to protect their sensitive information.
USAA Bank will never ask for any personal or account information, including debit card numbers or PINs, in any social media platform. If you are suspicious about any social media post claiming to be from USAA Bank, please notify us immediately at email@example.com. Visit USAA’s Security Center for more information on how you can help protect yourself online.
Editor’s note: In the graphic above, the names of financial institutions other than USAA have been replaced with ellipses to protect the confidentiality of those institutions.
Views and opinions expressed by members are for informational purposes only and should not be deemed as an endorsement by USAA.
Use of the term “member” or “membership” does not convey any eligibility rights for auto and property insurance products, or legal or ownership rights in USAA. Ownership rights are limited to eligible policyholders of United Services Automobile Association.
Credit cards provided by USAA Savings Bank, other bank products by USAA Federal Savings Bank, both Member FDIC.
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