Bank scams are a prevalent means for criminals to get personal and financial information from people. Consumers lodged over 2 million complaints about financial scams in 2021. Here are some of the most common and devious methods used to steal money from people that involve banks.
This scam utilizes emails and text messages containing links to a bogus site that prompts users for login credentials to their financial accounts. These are some of the most well-known types of online scams because they reach millions of people at a time. In 2019, the FBI reported that over $57 million was lost to criminals due to this type of scam. These messages often get your attention by warning of suspicious activity on your account, and they will urge you to log in to verify your identity and secure your account.
Another common tactic, especially during the tax filing season, is messages that claim to be from a government agency. The message will link a site masquerading as an official government gateway and prompt users to provide personal information. Another common tactic is communication about a debt to the government, and they demand that the user pay now with a credit card to avoid prosecution and jail time.
In this scam, criminals prey on job seekers, claiming to offer work if users provide bank information that enables them to make deposits into an account. Of course, they remove your funds rather than submit payments. Most of these scams are done via email, but they also occur over voice phone lines and physical mail.
This scam is often perpetrated in person when someone is entering the bank. The criminal accosts you and asks you to cash a check for them, claiming they don’t have a bank account and need your help. This scheme targets people’s sense of empathy toward those in need. You pay the person the cash, but then the check ends up being fraudulent, and the funds are held against your bank balance.
There are many scams, but people can avoid falling victim by exercising some simple precautions. In general, if you haven’t initiated a transaction of your own accord, don’t proceed to process any bank information. Never click links in an email unless you verify that the linked site is genuine. In most cases, a scam will make you feel uneasy, and your instincts should warn you to steer away from it.
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