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Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Vishing (via VoIP) & Smishing (via SMS)

The typical vishing scam makes use of Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), which allows people to talk over their computer lines, and can allow for dialing multiple numbers at the same time. Scammers may work from a list of regional phone numbers or even from a phone book, but what they mainly do is call everyone they can and leave an automated message saying the person’s credit card or bank account has been compromised, depleted or closed. When this process is done by email it’s called phishing, instead of vishing.

People who are left a message are given instructions to call a number to get more information about this alleged compromise. Scammers often use toll free numbers for this purpose and may even have, for people with caller ID, the legitimate name of the company that is supposedly calling. When people call the number, they’re instructed to dial in their credit card number or bank account number, and even sometimes information like personal identification numbers (PINs), or their social security number. Once this information is obtained, callers may speak to a person posing as a “representative” or they may never get to a representative, and are placed on hold. Meanwhile, the damage is done and the scammers may then use information to steal money or credit card numbers.

Essentially, it’s pretty easy to avoid a vishing scam or one conducted by email (phishing), and now commonly through text messaging (smishing) on cell phones. Instead of calling the number listed, hunt up your bank account telephone number or your credit card phone number and call that number instead. If you’re being vished, phished or smished, a bank or credit card company can tell you this immediately by letting you know that there has been no illegal activity on your account or any security compromise of your account. These scams can seem very real though, because they often contain warnings about not divulging your personal information, which may make a potential target feel the company calling, texting or emailing is protecting his/her interests.

The main thing to remember is to never call the number listed on any potential vishing scam calls. This will not take you to your bank or credit card company, and if you give out your information you’re likely to have it stolen. People are naturally worried if they hear the security of one of their accounts may have been compromised, but it will only take a few minutes to find the legitimate number of the “supposed” business that is calling you. You can also do your part by making sure that the bank or company is aware you’ve been vished, and you should consider reporting any of these scam attempts in the US to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, run jointly by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.


Skimming is when an electronic device is used to record your card information when your card is swiped through it. Skimming devices can be placed anywhere you swipe your card, including ATMs, gas stations and store credit card machines, to name a few.  A skimming device may be attached to the slot you swipe through or may be kept nearby to be used by the fraudster when you hand your card over to be processed.

The fraudster will also try to capture your PIN, usually by standing nearby and watching you enter it, or by using a hidden camera.  The recorded information is used to create a duplicate card with your bank details, giving the fraudster access to your accounts.  Always be aware of your surroundings when using your debit or credit card.  Cover the keypad with your hand to prevent cameras or other people from getting your PIN number.  Look for unusual signs or devices on ATM’s and report them immediately to the bank.

Stolen Cards

Criminals, and sometimes even family members, have been known to steal credit or debit cards and use them for their own personal gain.  It is important to treat your debit and credit cards as cash, and keep them protected from those looking to steal them.

Remember your bank will NEVER ask for your PIN, and you should never give your PIN to anyone, for any reason.

How We Protect You

Our service provider monitors activity on Tri City National Bank EZ Pay debit cards - 24 hours a day. If they notice any unusual spending on your card, they will try to contact you to make sure it's you spending your money. If they can't get in touch with you and believe there's a high chance of fraud, they may temporarily block your card to stop any more transactions until they can speak to you.

How You Can Protect Yourself
  • Keep your contact details up to date so we can let you know if we notice any suspicious transactions on your card
  • Where possible, swipe your card yourself
  • Don’t let your card out of your sight – if a retailer needs to swipe your card, make sure they do it in front of you and give it back to you straight away. In restaurants, consider going with staff members to watch them swipe your card.
  • Notify Tri City National Bank immediately if you’ve lost your card, think it may have been stolen or think someone may have discovered your PIN
  • Check your statements for any transactions that you don’t recognize
  • Never give your card details to someone over the phone unless you initiated the call and you know the company is reputable
  • If you have any doubts about the security of an ATM or retailer (especially on the internet) – don’t use it!
Card Safety When Traveling
  • Call us at 888-874-2489 if you're traveling out of the area, domestically or internationally, where you'll be traveling, how long for and how we can contact you while you're away.  Our fraud monitoring software may block purchases out of the area.
  • Try to only use ATMs that are attached to banks
PIN Safety
  • Memorize your PIN number – don’t write it down anywhere
  • Don’t disclose your PIN to anyone – that includes family members, police or bank staff
  • Take extra care when keying in your PIN to make sure no one else can see it
  • Use different PINs for different cards
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You may contact us at 414-TRI-CITY (414-874-2489) or visit any branch.
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