Card Popping Scam in the Military Community

The New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is warning the public about card popping scams that target military personnel and their families. Consumers receive a message through social media asking if they want to earn thousands of dollars by letting a “friend” deposit money into your bank account, while in reality, the scammers gain access to your bank account.

Scammers, posing as officials from USAA or other military credit unions typically contact consumers through social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to build a relationship. Once trust has been established, the scammer offers to help the consumers make money, while in exchange requesting that the consumers provide personal information to use to effectuate receipt of the fraudulent check.

The scammers typically ask for banking information, such as your bank card number and PIN or your credit card information. Once the consumer receives the check and deposits the money into their account, the scammer asks for a portion of the money back to be sent over wire transfer. Days later after the untraceable wire transfer is complete, the consumer realizes that the check was fraudulent and that they have sent their own personal money to a scammer.

The New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is offering these tips to help keep you and your family safe:

Report any fraud or scam incidents to the Federal Trade Commission- is the federal government's website where you can report fraud, scams, and bad business practices.

Avoid using your social security number- Only provide to others when absolutely necessary and request to use a different type of identification.

Exercise caution in revealing personal information- Avoid providing personal information over the phone, through mail and email, and over the Internet. This includes your name, date of birth, Social Security number, address and Medicare number.

Never let someone borrow your account information- All account information and credit card numbers should be kept secure and monitored regularly. Monitor all financial accounts and billing statements for suspicious activity.

Check your credit report regularly- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion can all provide a free copy of your credit report every year through the Annual Credit Report Request Service.

Consider using Active Duty Alert- While deployed, have an “Active Duty Alert” set up on your credit report to ensure that no one can open an account in your name during your absence.

Know where your money goes- Never send money to someone you do not know or have never met.