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Warning: New skimming, spoofing, stealing scam alert in Florida

Scammers using new skimming, spoofing plot to steal money

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Don't be fooled! Criminals are trying to separate you from your money by using a new multilayered scam involving skimming, spoofing and stealing financial information.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning consumers about the tricky scam that works like this:

A scammer uses a skimmer to steal credit or debit card information and then uses spoofing technology to pose as the representative of a financial institution.

Once the scammer reaches the target, they inform the target that an account has been compromised and the card verification value, or CV2 security code, is needed to freeze the account. The scammer then uses the code to make purchases, withdraw funds or sell the stolen account information.

“This scam incorporates some of the worst uses of modern technology to drain victims’ bank accounts and ruin their credit. Floridians must arm themselves with the latest information and take steps to avoid these fraudsters to protect their hard-earned money,” Moody said. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been getting a growing number of reports about the multilayered scam. To protect sensitive financial information, consumers are urged to first guard against skimming by doing the following:

  • Pay with cash or a credit card with chip technology instead of a debit card. Most credit cards offer additional fraud protections.
  • Monitor transactions on financial accounts regularly to spot any unauthorized charges.
  • Report unauthorized charges immediately and close down compromised accounts.
  • Inspect card readers, especially at outdoor locations such as gas pumps and ATMs, to see if a skimming device is placed over the card reader or if the security seal is broken.

To report skimmer fraud, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 800-HELP-FLA (800-435-7352).

The new scam also involves spoofing. Spoofing allows scammers to change the display on caller ID to make it appear as though the call is coming from a financial institution or government agency.

To prevent scams involving spoofing consumers should:

  • Never automatically trust the number listed on caller ID.
  • Hang up if a caller claims to be from the consumer's financial institution and asks to verify or confirm account information. Then, call the phone number listed on the back of your card or on your account statements.
  • Don't provide any financial account numbers, PINS, Social Security numbers or other personal information in response to a solicitation. 
  • Tell the financial institution to cancel the affected card or account, if it is determined that a caller is in possession of sensitive account information.

Anyone who may be a victim of this scam should contact their local law enforcement and report the scam to the Florida Attorney General's Office website or call  866-9NO-SCAM (866-966-7226).