Airline Debit Card Scam – This One Can Sting You

You’re a target if you use these

Debit cards have always been a security concern, and here’s yet another good reason to get rid of them if you have any. A new scam targeting debit card users leverages the airlines to (usually) successfully get your cash – and the bank issuing the debit card will typical not cover the fraud. Here’s how it works.

Cybercriminals steal your debit card info from a store or shop where you used it for a payment. Importantly for this scam, they steal both your card number/expiration/CID info and your name & address. Then they go to a major airline and purchase frequent flier miles. They then launder those miles to another Point program (such as for a hotel chain). They may move the points additional times until they get them to some point program where they may be redeemed for cash or used to make a product purchase.

Here’s where it gets nasty.

You find out about the fraud, immediately contact the bank that issued you the card, and they “open an investigation”. They will contact the airline who will confirm that you (cybercriminal using your name) made the purchase at which point your bank will deny the claim – after all, you made the purchase. So your money is gone. If you try and contact the airline about the purchase they will refuse to talk with you because they ‘want to protect the identity of the purchaser’ – even though it’s you. This irony is just some salt on the wound.

Your only recourse at that point will be to request the bank’s investigation info and try to pursue the fraud yourself. This will likely be a hopeless task as the cost in time and expenses will be almost certain to exceed the couple of hundred dollars of the fraud. So the takeaway? Don’t use debit cards. You have better protection with a credit card.

Everyone stay safe out there!

UPS Phone Scam – Alert Your Users

Not content to rely on just phishing emails, now cyber criminals are using a clever pre-recorded phone call to try and steal your credit card info. Here’s how it works.

You receiveĀ a phone call – often on a cell phone – with a very professional sounding recorded message claiming to be from UPS stating that your account (some account number is given but the bad guys are hoping you don’t remember your actual UPS account number and notice it’s different) is seriously past-due. You’re politely asked to call a provided 800-number. If you do you speak to a fake representative who offers to help you by taking your credit card info to ‘take care of’ the past due bill for you. Of course once you give them your credit card info your day is ruined.

Remind your users that cyber criminals are trying to get to them using any technology available – including the telephone.