EAST LANSING, Mich. (5/22/15)--Michigan State University FCU has spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness about a scam that’s becoming more prevalent nationwide.
"Cracking cards” is a scam where con artists entice individuals online to take part in “easy money” deals, but end up only stealing victims’ ATM card numbers and PINs. Scammers have been targeting primarily young people (Detroit Free Press May 21).
When reports surfaced that a student who was told she was eligible for scholarship money had her ATM card stolen after driving con artists to Chicago, where she was abandoned, the East Lansing, Mich.-based credit union stepped in.
“What’s really heartbreaking is mostly they are preying on people who truly need funds, which is why they fall for it,” said April Clobes, Michigan State University FCU president/CEO (Detroit Free Press). “It’s very serious.”
Typically, the criminals will promise to deposit money into a victim’s account, and then withdraw part of it, allowing the victim to keep a cut. Instead, the fraudster drains the bank account.
The average theft runs $2,500, according to Clobes.
Further, criminals are now frequently using social media to recruit potential victims, and that’s only accelerated the problem. So far, “card cracking” schemes have cost financial institutions nationwide roughly $11.6 million in stolen money (Detroit Free Press).
In addition to the awareness campaign, Clobes is urging students and people everywhere to remain vigilant, and to think twice when someone offers them an opportunity for some quick cash.
“Nothing in life is free,” Clobes said.