Threat: Text Messaging Scam
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania and various other locations
Fair Isaac's Card Alert Service has been notified by a member institution that a phishing scam involving text messaging is active in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area. This particular scam has occurred in other areas using similar techniques.
Text messages are sent out to random recipients in the Northeastern Pennsylvania area.
- The text messages warn that the message recipient's accounts have been suspended.
- Calls are directed to a number in the 720 area code or an 866 toll free number.
- Fraudulent withdrawals linked to this scam are occurring in Spain and Granada Hills, CA.
- A specific financial institution is referenced within each text message.
- Text message recipients appear to be random. There is no evidence to suggest that the perpetrators of this scam possess information specific to a particular financial institution.
- $1.00 pre authorizations are being tested prior to fraudulent withdrawals using the name of a popular online service provider.
The following suggestions should be considered as a baseline for developing your own proactive plan for identifying and handling fraud scams of this nature.
SUGGESTED BEST PRACTICES
- Do not authorize any ATM withdrawal if card verification values are incorrect or missing. Visa® issuers refer to this code as CVV while MasterCard® issuers refer to this code as CVC. Phishing scams have no direct method to capture this information from the consumer because the information is not visible.
- Simple verification of CVV or CVC codes during the authorization process for ATM withdrawals will help to eliminate unauthorized withdrawals for scams that involve card information that is not swiped or "skimmed" at a physical location.
- The embedded card verification values within the mag stripe can only be captured when the full track data has been swiped.
- Monitor for unusually high occurrences of pre authorization amounts of $1.00. Evidence of mass pre authorizations will provide an excellent early warning that further action needs to be taken to control losses from this scam.
- Country blocking may be an option for some financial institutions. Always consult your ATM network and card association rules for guidance.
- Card holder notification is key. Warnings about this scam should be paraphrased and communicated to potential victims.
- Make your communication channels very clear for the account holder to understand. It is important to list the methods of communication used by your financial institution so that consumers can make wise decisions before responding to potential scams.
For assistance with any skimming situation please call Fair Isaac's Card Alert Fraud Manager Team directly at 888.440.4227 Monday through Friday 9:00 AM EST to 6:00 PM EST.
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