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Brazilian Federation of Banks warns of card exchange scam during Carnival


Federation of Banks warns of card exchange scam during Carnival
Photo: Shutterstock

The Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) published a warning about the card exchange scam and the theft of cell phones, criminal actions that are very common during Carnival, according to the organization.

According to the alert, the agency cites the crowding of people and distraction when paying for purchases as the ideal environment for scammers to discover the password and exchange the card. The same carelessness also raises the danger of having your cell phone stolen.

“Carnival increases the risks of scams. Nowadays, schedules that start up to a month before the official celebration and extend until after Ash Wednesday are more and more common. And the action of the scammers follows this calendar ”, says the note.

Febraban warns and gives tips

As he explained to Febraban, a common act is a scammer posing as a street vendor. In this type of case, he gives the machine to the customer to enter the password, but in fact it is the value field that should be filled out.

The trick, says the entity, distracts the buyer from leaving the password visible on the card. The trap is then ended with the return of another very similar card.

"The exchange is only noticed much later, when the person tries to use the card," explained the entity.

"Remember that the password field only shows asterisks", warned the director of the agency's Fraud Prevention commission, Adriano Volpini, who gave tips on what to do in the case of the scam.

“When a person has his cell phone stolen, he remembers to make the police report and notify the telephone company and the credit card operator. Almost nobody remembers telling the bank, ”he explained.

The importance of notifying the financial institution, said the director, is because it will block the account and prevent the criminals from carrying out any operation, preventing more serious consequences.

Volpini also reiterated that the ideal environment for scammers is the large crowd, as is the case with carnival blocks.

Febraban Tips

  • Never lend or give your card to anyone and never lose sight of it. You can exchange the card without your noticing it;
  • When making payments with your card, do not let it stay out of your control, check the amount and take care that no one observes the typing of your password;
  • When you complete the purchase and get the card back, see if your name is on it.
  • Always request proof of sale and check the printed purchase price;
  • Whenever possible, swipe the card yourself.
  • Sign up to receive alerts by SMS or e-mail for every transaction made with your card. Thus, it is possible to quickly identify a fraudulent transaction;
  • Never keep the password with the card. This reduces the risk in cases of loss or theft;
  • Be careful with bumps or accidental encounters, which may temporarily cause your magnetic card to be lost sight of. If this occurs, check that the card in your possession is actually yours. If not, call the bank immediately and ask for the card to be canceled;
  • When destroying a card, cut the chip in half. Even with the plastic cut, it is possible to make transactions if the chip is intact;
  • In case of theft, loss or loss of your card, call your bank's Call Center immediately and request the card to be canceled. In case of theft, also register a B.O. at the nearest police station.

Febraban also produced a video to draw people's attention to the risks of these types of scams, giving tips on how to recognize suspicious situations and how to avoid them.

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