Common Banking Scams That Everyone Should Be Aware of!
Have you ever wondered what banking fraud is and what are the different types of banking fraud? If you have, this article is for you! Banking fraud mainly occurs when someone tries to illegally obtain money, property or other assets from a bank or any other financial institution by posing as a bank or a financial institution. There are several types of banking frauds which have been discussed in the article.
Recently, due to the pandemic there has been a sudden surge in banking frauds and other types of cybercrime activities. There have been several predictions that regulatory frauds and payment frauds will increase and it is crucial for people to keep their financial information to themselves. Banking fraud is very common now and scammers and fraudsters are seeking new ways to manipulate individuals to share their banking information online. This might be through phone calls, messages, emails or through third party links.
This article discusses the eight most common types of banking frauds and talks about how to avoid these types of frauds. Take this article as a sign to ensure that your banking information and all other privileged financial information is private. Nowadays, fraudsters have gotten very innovative and the rate of banking scams is continuously increasing all across the globe.
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Table of Contents
The Eight Most Common Types of Banking Frauds
1. Overpayment Scams
Let’s talk about overpayment scams and what they mainly are. If you are involved in selling products online or providing services you can easily fall prey to overpayment scams. These scams start by the person sending you fake money for more than the actual amount. They come up with a reason for why the money is more than the actual amount and then they request you to deposit the money in a bank and to send whatever difference back to them. Usually, the scammers send much more than the actual amount to take maximum profit and gain maximum amount of money.
The check that they give to you is counterfeit and by the time you send them the money they block you and you get a notification from the bank about the fake check. In this case you might owe the bank a returned check fee and you just send them money and by this time you’ve also provided the service or sent the product. Now you’re in a real problem because you just lost two things and got scammed and you owe the bank for something you were oblivious of.
2. Check-Cashing Scams
Check cashing scams are yet another type of bank frauds which involve checks. These scams mainly prey on innocent people who are generous and compassionate. This scam is also widely used because many innocent people fall victim to these scams. So what happens is that a person approaches you outside a bank and they request you to cash a check for them.
They make up a story that includes them not having a bank account in this bank and them needing the money urgently. The victim falls into this sob story and deposits the check and then withdraws the cash from their account to pay that person. Since check clearing isn’t done immediately and it takes time the scammer scams the innocent person and by the time they’ve vanished and several days later the check doesn’t clear. This is when the victim realises that they’ve been scammed.
3. Unsolicited Check Fraud
This is yet another creative way of scamming people and is widely used by scammers. This scam is very odd since the victim gets a check in the mail which was totally unexpected. This check resembles a refund for overpaying. In such cases it is crucial for the victim to inspect the check thoroughly, use a magnifying glass if you have to but for god’s sake don’t fall into this trap.
If you do you might enter a legally binding contract after signing this check. Fraudsters and scammers use this trick to manipulate victims into authorising loans, memberships and several other long term commitments that will damage you and your bank account severely. The scammers are waiting for you to sign the check and cash it. Once you do that you’re doomed! So beware and never cash checks that you were not expecting.
4. Automatic Withdrawal Scams
As convenient as automatic withdrawals are for you, scammers find this system very convenient as well. This scam operates in yet another unique way which includes an individual getting either a call or a postcard that states that they’ve won a prize or something big which they weren’t even expecting. The plot is classic and people who still fall for this need to stop thinking that Mary Poppins showed up at their doorstep. The main goal is to have you read the bottom numbers of your own checks because they are apparently verifying if you have qualified for the prize or not.
This is their tactic and trick to check your banking information and note down your number. Once they get their hands on this information they play it off as a demand draft which is also another type of check but it doesn’t require any sign yet. Once the bank gets this draft they will transfer money from your account to pay this fraudster. You might not even realise what is happening unless you closely monitor your daily baking transactions. This is why you should have digital applications of your bank and you should turn your notifications on to catch this fraud. Digital banking allows you to have a record of your transactions and you get daily messages of any new transactions. If you don’t then you might not realise it and when you do it’ll be too late.
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5. Phishing Scams
Phishing scams involve scammers using emails and text messages to manipulate you into compromising your personal information. This personal information can include passwords, social security numbers, bank account details, address and parents details. Their main motive is to gain access into your personal accounts for example your bank account or your email. Phishing scams are very popular because they are very accessible and the scammer is able to reach a wide range of audience through text messages or emails.
It is reported that almost 57 million US dollars were lost in phishing scams in 2019. These emails and text messages are carefully curated and they seem like they’re from actual trusted companies or proper organizations. These emails look like they are true and many people fall into this trap. These scams involve you clicking on a link and then you enter your personal information. These phishing scams normally use third party links and they can look believable but please do not fall for this. Keep your personal information to yourself.
6. Government Imposter Scams
I’m sure you can already tell what these types of scams are. They involve a government official and the individual receives a phone call from the scammer and they claim that you’ve won a prize that requires you to pay a certain amount of either taxes or fees so that they can easily process the prize. The scammer might sound very believable and in certain cases the scammers threaten you with jail time if you fail to make this payment.
This is still a scam that can be easily detected because there is no federal agency that asks you to settle a debt or pay a certain amount. Many scammers come up with fake names or they use the names of real government agencies to trick the victim. In such cases the best thing to do is avoid the call and refrain from complying because there is no federal agency that asks you to pay your debts on call or to collect payments. So in the future keep this in mind. A federal agency cannot ask you to collect prizes and clear payments.
7. Charity Scams
This scam is mostly implemented on people who are very generous and are innocent souls. The scammers take advantage of an individual’s generosity. They do so by making up fake charities and impersonating many popular charities.
The scammers can go as far as making up numbers that match your area code to make it more believable. They make it all sound very real and many people look to donate or do good fall prey and give them money.
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8. Employment Scams
Employment scams are yet another popular scamming method and are commonly used by scammers. This is another way for them to gain access into the financial account of an individual.
This mainly includes a scammer promising you to give you work in exchange for a certain fee. The scammer will ask for your personal financial details such as your bank account because they will transfer commissions to you.
This is mainly done to obtain your financial information. Employment scams are usually through emails and phone calls. Scammers go as far as making up a company and showing you the details and answering all your questions to sound more real and believable. Many job websites have job offerings that are scams and people get scammed by giving their personal information to such scammers.
It’s Always Best To Be Aware of Banking Scams & Avoid Them!
After looking at the various types of scams it is important to know how to protect yourself and your accounts from different types of baking scams. The first tip is to refrain from cashing checks for any unknown people. Despite the sudden urge of helping a person you should never cash someone’s check in exchange for cash.
The check won’t clear and the person will vanish by the time you realise what actually happened. The second tip is to read and inspect every single thing whether it is a check, an email, phone call or text message.
You need to read the fine print on unexpected checks to ensure that you aren’t getting scammed for a long time. Another tip is to never share any sort of financial information whether it is your bank account or any other type of personal information with anyone.
You should never give your personal information on phone calls and please refrain from clicking on third party links to enter your bank details and other personal information. If you feel like you’ve been scammed, file a complaint immediately and report it to the respective authorities.
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Always Be Prepared!
There were a lot of banking scams! We never thought that there were that many scams even scammers have gotten very creative with new techniques for scamming individuals. Therefore, it is crucial to take necessary steps that prevent any information from leaking to an unknown website or in the hands of a fraudster. Banking scams are the most common types of scams now and even youngsters can easily scam or hack into a bank account.
Therefore, a word of advice is to avoid giving your personal bank account number, mother’s maiden name, father’s name, pin code or CVV to anyone. It is also recommended to avoid answering unknown calls and especially refraining from giving anyone your pin code on call or through a message.
Many banks warn customers of the surge in banking fraud and advise them to refrain from entering their pin or code on any link and unless they confirm the call from the bank they shouldn’t give their personal details to anyone.
Scammers pose as bank officials and then easily manipulate people which includes old and retired people. This is primarily because they are easy targets. Therefore, stay safe from such banking scams and keep your personal information to yourself only!
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