Your Bank Would Never Ask You To Help With An Investigation
One of the more common scams is known as the “Bank Investigator Scam” which typically involves the victim receiving a phone call from a fraudster posing as an employee of the fraud department at a bank.
In the case of this scam, the fraudster often provides a fraudulent name and ’employee number’ and tells the victim either that their accounts have been compromised or that the bank is investigating a series of fraud cases that have been committed by staff at the individuals branch. The scammer goes on to ask the victim to assist with a joint law enforcement investigation into the compromise, suggesting that it is vital this information is kept confidential.
In some cases, to help encourage participation, the fraudster offers compensation. They will then convince the victim to disclose their banking information under the guise of helping with the investigation. The fraudster will then use this information to remotely gain access to the victim’s computer and ultimately their bank accounts. You may even see money deposited into your account however, this is often the fraudster moving funds from your other products . Neither your financial institution nor law enforcement organizations will ask citizens to help with a fraud investigation, nor would they try to offer financial compensation for doing so.
The Bottom Line On Bank Fraud
Many banks have boosted their efforts in preventing potential fraudulent charges by adding credit-monitoring features and protections in recent years but you will still need to do your part to keep yourself safe. Checking your bank accounts and credit reports regularly as well as avoiding scams and phishing schemes can go a long way.
Create Fraudulent Checks Using Your Bank Account And Routing Number
If someone has your bank account number and routing number, it is possible for fraudsters to order fake checks using your bank information. They can use these fraudulent checks to pay for a purchase or they can also cash the check.
They can also digitally scan the fraudulent checks and deposit the amount into their bank account.
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Is It A Scam
The FCAs ScamSmart website has a tool to help you check if an investment or pension opportunity is a scam.
Theres also lots more information about avoiding the latest scams. Visit the ScamSmart website
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. This is something you normally find with pension or investment scams, where the fraudster guarantees you huge returns, but tells you it is low risk.
- Personal details, full PIN codes and passwords. These are things no legitimate company will ask you for.
- Quick decisions. If you are pushed into making a decision on the spot, be suspicious. Scammers dont want you to have time to think about it. Any legitimate company who calls you wont mind if you hang up and call them back later. Use the phone number you find on letters from the company or the back of your card.
- Random competitions, particularly if you dont remember entering them, should ring alarm bells.
You can find a more comprehensive list of the warning signs in our guide about specific types of scams
Can Someone Withdraw Money With My Account Number And Routing Number
Maybe youre wondering: How can someone steal money from my bank account using my account number and routing number? As discussed in the previous section, it is possible for someone to get money from your account using two methods: ACH transfers and using fraudulent checks.
So, the answer is YES someone can withdraw money by using these methods.
These two methods are serious crimes thats why most thieves target commercial bank accounts because they tend to hold more money. However, it is also becoming more common for fraudsters to target small and medium businesses and even individual account holders because they usually have fewer security protocols.
Some fraudsters also avoid transferring large amounts of money at once, instead, they tend to make smaller ACH transfers so they will not be red-flagged. If an account holder is not careful about tracking expenses and monthly billing reports, these illegitimate ACH payments could even go undetected.
As we mentioned earlier, the best defense against unauthorized withdrawals is for you to set up bank account monitoring with Identity Guard. Theyll alert you when information changes or withdrawals happen on your account, youll get your stolen funds recovered and a case manager will personally help you to resolve fraud related problems. Check them out by clicking on this link.
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What Should You Do If Youve Been The Victim Of A Scam
If you think youve been scammed there are four things you need to do.
If you think youve been targeted by a scam, you should also report it so it can be investigated. You can do this through the Financial Conduct Authority website using their reporting form
Contactless Card Payment Fraud
Contactless payment allows you to make a payment of up to £45 per transaction, without having to provide a PIN, by tapping or waving your debit or credit card over a card reader. Although contactless payment generally makes transactions quicker, you should be aware of the fraud risks associated with contactless card payment fraud.
Top five tips to reduce the risk of being a victim of contactless card payment fraud:
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Phone Fraud Otherwise Known As Vishing Or Smishing:
This type of fraud involves criminals contacting you by phone or by text pretending to be your bank, credit card issuer, utility company or often a computer company. During the conversation they will try and trick you into giving personal, banking or security information. They may also convince you to make a money transfer to them or inform you that you have won a prize and need to send money to release it. Their intention is to use this information to commit fraud against you or other parties in your name.
Crime Prevention Advice
Always say NO to unsolicited callers or texters seeking private information about you. Private information includes your name, address, date of birth, family details, bank account numbers, PIN, Passwords
Independently verify any requests for information and never use the contact details supplied to you by the caller or texter. Independent means independent of the caller or texter.
The caller may already have some information about you so dont trust them because they use your name or other personal information.
An Garda Síochána or your bank will never look for your Banking PIN number or Password or ask you to transfer money, or come to your home to collect your payment card, cheque book or cash.
What Are The Best Options To Send Money Without A Bank Account
There are plenty of ways to send money to someone without a bank account, each with different levels of speed, security and convenience. Here are some of the best options:
Use an online money transfer service
Sending money through a money transfer service is an option for both sending without a bank account and sending money to someone without a bank account. Several money transfer services allow you to both pay in cash and have cash delivered to your receiver.
Your recipient could receive the funds the same day if theyre delivered via cash pickup or delivery. This option can come with high fees, so be sure to compare money transfer services that offer cash pickup.
Compare money transfer services
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Transfer to a cash pickup location
You can transfer money to a cash pickup location in most countries, typically through a third-party money transfer service. The process is similar to that of most transfers, at least on your end. Once the funds have arrived in the third-party services bank accounts, they will be directed to one of their partners cash pickup locations where your recipient can head over to and collect their funds.
Send via mobile wallet
Use a money order
When using a money order, keep in mind that:
- They are one of the slowest ways to send money without a bank account.
- They require ID to send and receive.
- They are often more expensive than using a money transfer service.
Use credit cards
Use prepaid debit cards
Mail the cash directly
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The New And Improved Nigerian Email Scam
Send people emails giving them a sob story about some person who is orphaned and cant withdraw his/her money- but add a contemporary twist. For example, make a plea for a young girl who is being held against her wishes by the Taliban and cant withdraw the huge sum of money she has inherited in the U.K.- money that would help free her. Or, decry a dog slaughter operation here in the U.S. that would be instantly shut down if some groups could just gain access to their locked funds.
The possibilities are endless- and someone is bound to bite. Once you accumulate a few interested parties, have them forward you money for bogus expenses like taxes, processing costs, legal fees, etc. At some point, you might even gain access to a bank account or the personal information of your email recipients. Drain those accounts and/or steal identities.
Ghosts In The Machines
Freestanding ATMs are also subject to criminal activity. These devices are located in areas as varied as airport terminals and self-service gasoline pumps. In some situations, criminal hackers are able to capture account information by using WiFi scanners and cracking programs to download transaction data when the systems fail to be protected by high-level encryption software.
The most audacious of ATM scams is the installation of machines whose only purpose is to steal information. This criminal confidence scheme was once a popular activity of organized crime circles. Seemingly normal ATMs would be placed in small shops, bars, and other venues. The machines were never actually loaded with funds, but instead were there solely to entice users to swipe their cards and enter their PINs. After collecting this information, an error message would appear. These seemingly innocent devices provided criminals with a steady flow of stolen banking information. Because of their placement in high-traffic areas, users did not realize that all users were unsuccessful at withdrawing funds.
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What To Do When Money Is Stolen From Your Bank Account
Help with scams
If you want help with your immediate needs and help to see if you may be able to get your money back, call our financial crimes and scams unit on .
If money has been taken from your bank account without permission, there are certain steps you should take. This is whether your identity has been stolen, your card cloned, theres been an unrecognised bank transfer or youve been the victim of a scam.
Find out more about spotting, avoiding and reporting scams on the FCA website
When You Issue A Check Or Order A New Set
Issuing paper checks is still preferred by many Americans. One of the top reasons is because it provides a physical paper trail of payments that have been made.
However, many people do not realize that issuing a paper check to someone is equivalent to giving out important personal information that includes your full name, home address, phone number, signature, bank account number, and routing number. Your routing number and bank account number are printed on the bottom of every paper check you issue.
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Avoid Fraudsters And Protect Yourself
Fraudsters often attempt to steal customer data and gain access to accounts by pretending to be a Cash App customer service representative. If someone claiming to be a Cash App service representative asks for your sign-in code or PIN, asks for you to send them money, or asks for personal information, its a fraudster.
No Cash App service representative will ever ask for your sign-in code over the phone, on social media, or through any other channel. Never give anyone your sign-in code. This unique code helps keep your account safe and secure from scammers and fraudsters.
No Cash App service representative will ever ask you to send a payment to any Cash App account. There is never a valid reason to send money to an account claiming to be Cash App or Cash App support. Additionally, scammers claiming to be service representatives from other companies may ask that you send money to another Cash App account. Do not do this – it is likely a scam.
No Cash App service representative will ever ask you to provide sensitive information like your full debit card number, your bank account information, or your Social Security Number. Never provide detailed personal information to anyone purporting to work for Cash App on any channel including the phone, email, social media, or text messages.
If you believe that you have fallen victim to a fraudulent phishing attempt or scam, please change your Cash App PIN immediately and then report the incident by contacting Cash App Support.
How To Avoid Falling Victim To One Of These Scams
- Be aware: Don’t trust any unsolicited calls and verify the source of anyone who claims to be calling from your bank. If you receive a call from someone who says they’re from your bank, take down their name and hang up. Using a different phone line, call the bank using an established and verified number, such as the number on the back of your debit card.
- Don’t assume: Though your call display might say the call is coming from your bank, dont assume the caller is legitimate. Scammers often use call spoofing technology so that your call display shows the name of a company or financial institution to make you believe their request is authentic.
- Protect your personal information: To verify your identity, your bank will ask basic questions to ensure they are speaking to the correct person. However, they will never ask you to disclose your passwords or your PIN number on the phone. If you feel uncomfortable with the call or feel like you are being asked questions that feel too personal, hang up.
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How To Choose The Best Transfer Method
- How fast the funds need to be delivered.Money orders and prepaid debit cards will likely take significantly longer to reach your recipient than a mobile wallet transfer.
- Affordability.Personal mobile wallet transfers that dont use a credit card typically come without fees. However, it might be more difficult to access the funds than if you use a cash transfer. Money orders and prepaid debit cards usually have a low cost, and using a credit card will generally be the most expensive option.
- Convenience.Depending on where your recipient lives and what theyre using the funds for, certain options may be favorable. Someone looking to shop online, for example, may find a PayPal transfer more convenient than cash pickup.
- Security of the transfer.Data encryption helps protect your and your recipients information. Mailing a money order or prepaid debit card comes with the risk of them getting lost in transit.