Fraud Unit detectives have been made aware of a new ATM scam. Scammers put counterfeit or stolen checks into another person’s bank account. The suspects then borrow the accountholder’s debit card number and pin number and withdraw money from the bank before the bank learns that the check was fraudulent.

The victims in these cases are usually internet users who see ads from these scammers on social media sites. These scammers have also been known to go to college campuses to recruit cash-strapped students into their scheme. Accountholders are not always the victims in these cases, but could be held accountable for the monetary loss to the bank or financial institution. This scam known as “Cracking Cards” has even been a theme of some rap music.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department wants to remind the public of the importance of keeping personal information safe.

Here are some safety tips:

• Always verify the identity of the person trying to obtain personal information.

• Never give personal information to someone over the phone or via email.

Personal information includes:

Birth dates, social security numbers, maiden names, addresses, bank account numbers, debit/credit card numbers, PIN numbers, etc

• Maintain a record of the phone call or solicitation. Write down the phone number that the person is calling from, the time and date they called, the caller’s name, and reported affiliation. If it was online, save a copy of the email conversation or advertisement.

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 If you believe you may be a victim of fraud call 9-1-1, so authorities can be alerted to the activity. You can also report email or internet scams to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by going online to: http://www.ic3.gov. Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.

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