New scam targets college students

(Consumer Alert) – U.S. Postal Inspectors have warned college students of a new scam known as “card cracking.”

Inspectors said the scammers have been reaching out to college-aged adults through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and convincing them to hand over the banking information. Often the scammer has told the student they need them to deposit a check, and in return the scammer promises to give the student half of the amount deposited. By the time students have realized the check is counterfeit, the scammer has already disappeared with the student’s money.

Inspectors said these crooks have also targeted students at college parties.

“They’ll demonstrate they have a lot of money, they will throw wads of cash around and act in that manner to try and entice people to give up their ATM cards,” said Assistant Inspector in Charge, Vic Demtschenko. “There are in some instances where young adults thought that they were applying for a college grant and in reality they were being asked to provide their debit cards.”

Inspectors said the scam is serious because not only are students losing money, they are also giving scammers access to their bank information which can lead to fraud. Inspectors said students should never allow strangers to access their bank accounts, keep ATM cards and campus ID’s that have pins private, use hard-to-guess PIN’s and do not auto-fill passwords on phones or computers.