How to Avoid a Card Cracking Scam

Card-cracking is a national problem, with incidents reported in several states including Georgia, Ohio, Washington, and most notably, Illinois. In Chicago alone, a group of 29 are facing charges for stealing about $6.5 million through this scheme. Many of the “victims” do not understand they are facilitating a crime in which they could receive up to 30 years in prison for their participation.

In card-cracking scams, young adults (primarily students, newly-enlisted military, or single parents) are recruited to facilitate fraud against the bank. The perpetrators typically target people via social media and convince them to share their checking account information  in exchange for some type of a kickback – usually in the form of a counterfeit check remotely deposited into their account of which, the person is allowed to keep a portion of the funds. However, the fraudster often removes all of the funds before the bank determines that the check is counterfeit.  Fraudsters may also convince the person to provide them with their debit card, along with their PIN. The person is instructed to report the card as lost or stolen, thereby receiving protection via Reg E, while the fraudster withdraws the funds.

Avoid falling for a card-cracking scam with these simple steps:

  • Do not respond to online solicitations for “easy money.”Card cracking advertisements will suggest that this is a quick, safe way to earn extra cash. Keep in mind that easy money is rarely legal money.
  • Never share your account and PIN number.Keep this information private at all times. By sharing it with others, you expose yourself to potential fraud.
  • Do not file false fraud claims with your bank. By filing a false claim, you are a co-conspirator to fraud. Banks’ detection techniques for card cracking are constantly improving and suspicious claims will be investigated.
  • Report suspicious posts linked with scams.If you notice postings that appear to be linked with a possible scam, report them to the social media site. There is usually a drop down menu near the post to allow for easy reporting.

In addition to being charged as an accomplice to a crime, they are also at risk of having their own money stolen from their accounts and having unauthorized purchases made with their debit cards. Because they consented to provide scammers access to their bank accounts, it is difficult for them to prove that any withdrawals or purchases made were unauthorized. If it sounds too good to be true, than it often isn’t true.

*Source: http://www.aba.com/tools/function/cyber/pages/card-cracking.aspxAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!

National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Learning how to identify online fraud and understanding how fraudulent activity happens, helps with prevention. Here are some past blog posts with information on identity theft and prevention.

Let Technology Help Track Down College Textbooks

As if college isn’t challenging enough, students are faced with the daunting task of finding textbooks that aren’t going to cost them an arm and a leg. Fortunately, technology is helping give them an upper hand.

Online websites offer various options, ranging from buying new, used or even renting, and selecting print, digital or audio forms of textbooks. Students typically can end up paying a fraction of the cost compared to getting books at the on-campus bookstore. Among the more popular sites are textbooks.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!; chegg.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!; ecampus.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!; valorebooks.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!; amazon.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!; half.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!(an eBay company).

In addition, there are search engines that allow you to compare book prices on different sites, such as bookfinder.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! and campusbooks.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!.

What’s more, free textbooks are available through university libraries, online book exchanges, and Project Gutenberg, the oldest digital library in the world that offers approximately 50,000 e-books. Note, however, that many free textbooks are limited to classic literature.

And then there’s always the old standby – forming a textbook-sharing group with other students, especially those who may be in the same classes you’re enrolled in. This may require studying together from time to time, but it could be a real cost-saver in the long run.

If you decide that online is the way to go, stop by the on-campus bookstore first and locate the books you’ll need. Then jot down the following information: author’s name, the book’s price, the name and volume/edition, and the book’s International Standard Book Number (ISBN), found on or near the barcode on the back of book. Use this information to locate books online.

Before making any textbook transaction, pay close attention to the site’s terms and conditions, such as return policies, money-back guarantee, and whether free shipping is offered both on purchases and returns (that is, unless, you’re buying or renting e-books.)

And compare the cost of buying new versus used, as well as renting. You may be surprised at the difference. If you decide to rent, remember to keep track of the book’s rental expiration date; otherwise you could end up inadvertently buying the book instead. Note: some colleges and universities offer book rental services, so don’t overlook this option.

Prepare Now For The Unexpected

“Save for a rainy day” has been a phrase that’s been around a long time. And it applies just as much now as it did years ago.

That’s because it’s always a good practice to set aside money for unforeseen circumstances that crop up in life. A rainy day fund provides for financial as well as mental peace of mind because you know the money’s there in time of need.

Whether it’s a loss of employment, a medical ailment, an unplanned home repair or some other emergency, having a monetary cushion in place can help overcome unexpected obstacles. Experts advise having three months of savings available for such circumstances.

But even so, a recent survey by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) revealed that only about 50 percent of Americans indicated they could have $2,000 available for an emergency in the next month. (FINRA is an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly.)

If you’re among those who don’t have a rainy day fund, it’s never too late to start one. Here are some ways to do that:

Get a handle on your monthly bills. Knowing where you money is going is the first step to figuring out what you can afford to set aside for a rainy day fund. If you find yourself struggling to find a few extra bucks to save each month, then consider cutting some expenses, such as going out to dinner two or three times a week or buying lunch every workday.

Save your change. At the end of each day, place the coins in a piggy bank or another container and watch the money add up right before your eyes. Better yet, set aside unspent dollar bills (or even 5 dollar bills!) to build up your kitty even faster.

Turn unwanted items into cash. It could be anything from pieces of furniture to outgrown clothing. Take it to a consignment shop, hold a yard sale, or sell it online.

Ditch a costly habit. It could be cigarettes, or compulsive online shopping. The savings you could reap could be staggering.

If you get a raise at work, don’t spend it. Put it in a rainy day fund instead. And if you pay off a long-standing bill such as a car loan, still set aside at least a portion of that money each month for the fund, too.

Even if it takes several months to accomplish your goal, it will be worth it in the long run when an emergency arises.