Banking Scams

  • Amy

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?

Do

  • 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

  • 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.