The Merrimack and other local financial institutions are seeing an uptick in Mobile Wallet Fraud, a form of mobile payment scam using stolen credit cards.
The scam begins when a victim receives a call claiming to be from their bank. The caller ID even reflects the bank’s correct phone number, as it has been spoofed or faked by the fraudster. The caller/fraudster then tells the victim that potentially fraudulent transactions have been posted to their account, and they are calling to verify them. The fraudster then communicates a list of fake transactions which the victim will identify as not theirs.
The fraudster initiates a phony dispute process and asks the victim to verify the last 4 digits of their credit card, email address or other personal information for authentication. Once the “dispute” is submitted to them, the victim is asked to read back a case number that has been sent to them. The case number, however, is actually a Mobile Wallet verification code used to complete the customer’s enrollment. Once successfully enrolled, the fraudster is able to successfully complete transactions using their stolen credit card information.
The victim is then told they will receive a ‘test’ transaction code and they are instructed not to respond. The ‘test’ transaction code is an actual notification from their bank’s security software alerting them to a potential breach the fraudster is attempting to make. Though security software has rules to combat this type of scam, fraudsters have been able to imitate customer’s phone numbers and respond directly to the security software stating ‘No Fraud’ has occurred, and the transaction is completed.
In this complex scam, the fraudster poses as both the bank and the customer to perpetrate fraud. It’s always important that you verify the legitimacy of any call or request before providing personal financial information.
To protect yourself:
- Do not provide personal information over the phone unless you have called the source directly through a phone number that you trust such as one on a confirmed website or that you have used before.
- Update your computers, smartphones, and other devices with the most recent updates and security software updates available.
Please also contact us if you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a scam, so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.