What is Card Cracking and How Can You Avoid It?

easy money key on keyboard

Card cracking is a form of fraud where consumers respond to an online solicitation for “easy money” and then provide a debit card for withdrawal of fake check deposits. Typically you’ll receive a social media message asking if you want to make “quick cash.” When you receive messages like this, it’s important to keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it’s usually fake. Read on to learn more about card cracking and how you can avoid it.

Who is Targeted and What Does Card Cracking Look Like?

making money onlineCriminals use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to solicit consumers, targeting people between the ages of 19 and 25 years old. Their target group also includes college students, newly enlisted military, and single parents. A typical card cracking scenario goes like this:

  1. A fraudster sends you a message on social media asking if you want to make easy money.
  2. You like the sound of making “quick cash” and provide them with a debit card, PIN, or online credentials, giving them direct access to your account.
  3. The scammer deposits a fake check into your account.
  4. The money is withdrawn from an ATM immediately.
  5. The fraudster gives the account holder a kickback.
  6. You call the bank to report a lost or stolen card or compromised credentials.
  7. The bank reimburses the stolen funds to you.
  8. The criminal provides you with a cut of the money withdrawn using worthless checks, and you are now considered a criminal accomplice.

How to Avoid Card Cracking

Now that you know what card cracking is, it’s time to learn the best ways to avoid it. Follow these 4 tips:

  1. online scam alertDon’t respond to online solicitations for “easy money.” All card cracking advertisements suggest a way to make quick and easy cash. Though it might sound enticing, keep in mind that easy money often ends up being illegal money.
  2. Don’t share your account information and PIN number. Keep your private information private. By sharing your account information with someone else, you are exposing yourself to potential fraud.
  3. Don’t file false fraud claims with your bank. When you file a false claim, you automatically become a co-conspirator to fraud. Banks’ detection techniques for card cracking are improving constantly, and any suspicious claims will be investigated.
  4. Report suspicious posts linked with scams. If you notice any postings online that appear to be linked with a possible scam, it’s important to report them to the social media site. Each post typically has a drop-down menu where you can easily report it.

About Tennessee State Bank

Tennessee State Bank has been serving our local community for over 45 years. With branches in Sevier County, Knox County, Cocke County, and Jefferson County, we offer convenient banking services in East Tennessee. Whether you’re looking to open a checking account, obtain an auto loan, or apply for a home mortgage, we make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Tennessee State Bank’s motto is “Banking at its Best!”SM, and we strive to live up to that creed every day. Let us know how we can help you by sending us a message via our Contact Form.

Tennessee State Bank is Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.



“How to Avoid a ‘Card Cracking’ Scam.” American Bankers Association. https://www.aba.com/Consumers/Pages/CardCracking.aspx.

“Social Media Scam: Card Cracking.” USAA. https://www.usaa.com/inet/wc/security_social_media_scam_card_cracking