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Card crackin'

Card crackin'

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Avoid this scam: Card Crackin'

SCENARIO 1 - 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 consumers 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 consumer 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 student to provide them with their debit card, along with their PIN. The consumer is instructed to report the card as lost or stolen, thereby receiving protection via Reg E, while the fraudster withdraws the funds.

SCENARIO 2 - A student opens a new account at a bank, generally with a low dollar amount ($10-$25). The student then provides their ATM card and PIN number to a third party. The third party then deposits stolen or counterfeit checks into the account and makes withdrawals prior to the checks being returned as bogus. The student is instructed to tell bank officials they lost their debit card. If questioned about how the fraudster obtained the PIN, the student is instructed to inform bank officials they wrote the PIN on a piece of tape and attached it to the back of the card.

Crackin’ Cards Recruitment

Recruiters often resort to social media to recruit students for Crackin’ Cards with the promise of quick money.  Don’t be a party to a criminal scheme. It’s illegal to defraud a bank.  In recent investigations, criminal charges have been brought against students for conspiracy and larceny.

Who is Being Recruited?

  • Young adults, ages 16 to 30, are recruited, enticed, tricked, bribed, or voluntarily agree to give up their debit card and PIN.
  • Many of the young accountholders are high school/college students.
  • The majority of individuals who are involved in carrying out this scheme are targeting accounts that have been established for a period of 6 months or longer.
  • Accountholders generally do not have large balances in their account.
  • Most accountholders believe they will be paid for assisting their “friend” in this scheme. Some account holders may receive a small amount of money, but mostly never get paid. 


  • Never share your debit card or PIN with anyone.
  • Never deposit a check or money order from an unknown source into your account.
  • Don’t be a party to a criminal scheme. 

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