Common Scams - Continued

ATM scams

Those who target ATM users use the latest technology to their advantage. The newest ATM scam involves skimming. Fraudsters make counterfeit ATM cards by using a skimmer (a card-swipe device that reads the information on a consumer's ATM card). Scammers take a blank card and encode all the information from an ATM card when they swipe immediately after the machine's last transaction. The skimmer catches the PIN (personal identification number) through a small camera mounted on the ATM. The unsuspecting victim is unaware they've been scammed because the ATM card has not been stolen and still works at other machines.

The "Lebanese Loop" is another popular ATM scam. Scammers insert a portable steel loop into an ATM card slot. The scammer usually approaches the victim while at the machine, and poses as the person next in line. Victims are advised to enter their PINs three times and then hit cancel to get the machine to accept the cards. The scammer is able to memorize the PIN for future use and the machine keeps the card because of the excessive number of attempts to enter the correct PIN. Victims leave in frustration because they couldn't get any money and they've lost their card. Once the loop is taken out of the ATM the scammer has the card and the PIN number for future transactions. This is a relatively new scam that many experts believe will be short-lived due to fast technology upgrades.

Credit Card Scam

The scam works like this: The fraudster calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA or MasterCard. My Badge Number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA/MasterCard which was issued by (name of institution). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"

When the targeted consumer says "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives the victim their address), is that correct?" Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He'll ask the victim to turn their card over and look for some numbers.

"There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card." The caller will then ask the victim to read the 3 numbers to him. Then he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card."

It's that simple. The scammer already had the name, account number, and address of the victim. The only thing preventing misuse was the 3-digit code on the back of the card.

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