This involves attempts to access your bank account with counterfeit checks, unsolicited check fraud, automatic withdrawals or phishing. This type of scam typically starts with an intimating call or email.
A scam artist may send you a counterfeit check and tell you to deposit it in your bank account, then wire a portion of the money back to them. Since the check was fake, you’ll have to pay your bank the amount of the check, plus you’ll lose any money you wired.
A scammer sends you a check for no reason. If you cash it, you may be authorizing the purchase of items or signing up for a loan you didn’t ask for.
A scamming company sets up an automatic debit from your bank account, as part of a free trial or to collect lottery winnings.
How to Report Banking Scams:
- The proper organization to report a banking scam to depends on which type you were a victim of.
- Report fake checks you receive by mail to the US Postal Inspection Service.
- Report counterfeit checks to the Federal Trade Commission, either online or by phone at 1-877-382-4357.
- Contact your bank to report and stop unauthorized automatic withdrawals from your account.
- Forward phishing email to the Federal Trade Commission at [email protected]
How to protect yourself from a bank scam?
- Be suspicious if you are told to wire a portion of funds from a check back to a company.
- Be wary of lotteries or free trials that ask for your bank account number.
- Verify the authenticity of a cashier’s check with the bank that it is drawn on before depositing a check.
- When verifying a check or the issuer, use contact information on a bank’s website.
- Don’t be fooled by the appearance of checks or money orders. Scammers can make them look legitimate and official.
- Don’t deposit checks or money orders from strangers or companies you don’t have a relationship with.
- Don’t wire money to people or companies you don’t know.
- Don’t give your bank account number to someone who calls you, even for verification purposes.
- Don’t click on links in email to verify your bank account.
- Don’t accept a check that includes an overpayment.