Banking scams are becoming increasingly common. Such scams are a way for people with malicious intent to gain access to other’s financial and personal information. Scammers are known to use a variety of ways to fool people in the banking and financial sector. Their goal is usually to trick people into giving up information like passwords and bank account details. As business law shows, this happens through a few common methods. When more people become aware of these scams, it gradually becomes more difficult for scammers to get away with them. This is why it is important to be informed about how to avoid them.
Here are some of the most common banking scams:
Usually, the unfortunate target of such scams are those who sell products or services online. This starts with someone sending the target a counterfeit check or a money order that is more than the amount of money actually owed. Next, the target is asked to send back the amount difference. But since the check or money order was counterfeit in the first place, the target is out of the funds that he sends to the scammer.
This is a scam that preys on the empathy and generosity of some people. It starts with a scammer approaching the target outside a bank and requesting that he cash a check for them. The scammer may say that he does not have an account in that particular bank and needs the money. The target then does as asked and cashes the check, withdrawing funds from their own account to pay the scammer. A few days later the counterfeit check bounces, but the person has already given away the funds.
Unsolicited Check Banking Scams
With this particular type of scam, the target is sent a counterfeit check. They are made to look very real, so many people can be potentially fooled this way. By cashing it without checking it, the target of the scam may enter into a legally binding agreement that removes funds from their bank account.
This is a scam where scammers find it easy to attack people who use a lot of automatic withdrawals for savings, paying taxes, and bills. Such banking scams usually involve a phone call or email saying that a prize has been won. The scammer will tell the target to verify whether they are the person who they think it is. The goal is to make the target read the numbers that come at the bottom of the checks. This enables them to start automatic withdrawals, and this can go on for months before it is noticed.
Phishing Banking Scams
This is perhaps the most common banking scam. This scam uses spoof texts or emails to have targets give up personal and banking information. This type of scam usually happens on a much larger scale, with the scammers sending out thousands of texts or emails. Links received from these scams will take the target to a spoof website in order to completely fool the unsuspecting target. CNBC reports that American consumers lost $56 billion to this scam last year.
Staying Safe From Banking Scams
- Be suspicious when someone asks you to send back money to their account because they have sent you more money than they owe you.
- Be cautious when handling bank transactions with strangers.
- Be highly suspicious of prizes and lotteries that ask for your personal or banking information. If you are to provide them, make sure to double-check and find out about the authenticity of the company before you share your details.
- It is extremely important to have strong passwords for your online banking work. They should be hard to crack, and it is best if you don’t write them down anywhere.
- Verify checks and money orders with your bank.
- Do not click on links from emails that come from unknown senders, especially if they are of the financial variety. It is better to do so by opening a separate web page.
- Do not make deposit money orders or checks from companies/banks you do not know.
- Never send money to a company or a person you don’t know or have a relationship with.
- Do not give banking information to anyone on a phone call. Passwords and other details should never be shared with anyone.
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