FRAUD – in The NAME of The BANK

Last Update: February 6, 2021 Credit Cards Fraud Scams

A global problem!

Fraudsters love to target people where it hurts the most – in their bank accounts. With the world becoming more connected thanks to the Internet, online scams have dramatically increased. It is often up to you to stay informed and vigilant when dealing with other individuals on the Internet.

Banks do their best in trying to provide the best security they can. Many offer free online tools to help you protect yourself against fraud. They post details of their websites’ latest scams and warnings on online banking profiles.

But is this enough?

Unfortunately, the correct answer is no. Fraudsters become more tricky in their always new ways to scam people.

Ok, let’s start with some basic prevention rules.

A bank will never ask you to provide personal details over an open forum. Your bank already has your details. The basic rule is never to respond to a scam email or phone calls, asking you to do things such as updating your information, clicking links, etc.

You stand to lose every cent you have!

How Bank Scamming Works?

It could be a scam if:

  • If the message normally arriving by email, SMS, letter, or fax, sounds too good to be true!
  • There is ain information that your account will be closed or frozen if you do not take immediate action.
  • You are offered a huge loan at the low interest you didn’t request. Now, you only have to pay an upfront fee.
  • You are requested to give personal banking information via a link in an email, which has a quick deadline in which to reply.
  • Email addresses of valid companies are just slightly modified, and domains are different such as .org instead of .com.

The Types of Frauds Criminals Use Involving Banks

  • Phishing scams

Phishing scams are a form of fraud scammers often use. They try to steal your personal information. You will be told things like: news that you have been a victim of fraud and must log in immediately, money has been received into your account, which needs to be confirmed, or you have received an IRS payment that needs to be confirmed without delay. The scammer would have an authentic-looking bank letter-head, with all the details you might be familiar with. Check the origin of the email. It will in no way be the same address as that of the bank.

  • Vishing scams

Vishing scams are like phishing, except that you will be contacted by phone by someone who claims to be from your bank. He will actually try to get your bank details, like passwords and PINs, etc.

  • Smishing scams

Smishing scams are phishing scams via SMS. This should also look like from your bank. You will be manipulated to share your personal information for one or another genuine sounding reason.

  • Advance fee fraud, also known as 419 scams

In this fraud, you are usually advised that you have inherited a fortune from a long-lost relative, who you actually have never heard of and actually doesn’t exist. It may also take the form of gigantic lotto winnings, and your details are needed for the deposit into your account. If you did not buy a ticket, you wouldn’t be a winner!

  • Another 419 scam

You could be offered a lot of money to make your account available to safe keep cash, usually from a foreign source. Bear in mind that the US Federal Treasury would institute a query if millions suddenly appeared in your account, so that is one commission promise that can never hold water. You will also be asked to pay an upfront fee for bank charges, exchange control fees, etc.

  • Fake payment confirmation

If you have a business selling goods online, beware of the fake payment confirmation from a bank, even with an authentic letter-head. Be vigilant of check payments that have not cleared. Transfers from other banks can take up to 48 hours to show in your account. Do not release any goods until the payment reflects in your account or until the check has cleared.

  • The refund scam

You actually see money in your account, usually a fake check that will bounce. You are notified that it is an incorrect payment into your account, which you must refund into an account detailed in the message. Do not take the bait. If there has been a mix-up, the bank can correct it without your help.

  • Change of banking details

For those in business, this scam is like a plague. You may get a communication, which looks entirely official and genuine, from someone pretending to be a supplier, asking you to update your banking details to their database. Never do it! Beware, this scam can originate from your company, especially if someone wants to make a quick buck by providing a list of your suppliers to criminals.

Some things to help you identify scam emails are simple typographical errors, spelling mistakes, and other signs that the email was unprofessionally written.

How Banks Protect You?

The banks work long and hard to protect clients’ information and money. Bank clients trust the bank with their money, and it is a responsibility that all banks take seriously. They make use of a variety of security tools and systems to keep your information and accounts safe.

Here are some of the ways banks use to protect you.

  • Encrypting information. Many banks use 128-bit encryption codes to protect your personal information, such as password, user name, and account details as it travels over the Internet. We will never ask you to send confidential information such as your SSN via unsecured mail.
  • Verifying practices. Operations and business practices are reviewed regularly to make sure they still comply with bank policies and procedures that have been created for your protection.
  • Keeping up with scams. Most banks have a team of people who constantly search for new scams. Customers are advised via the bank’s website, or the online banking platform, in detail about the scams. There is a place where you can acknowledge that you have read the message before being allowed to continue with online banking.
  • Free tools. Most of the banks offer free customized tools that can be of help. These tools can help you identify unauthorized activity or fraud in your accounts and misuse the information by people or legitimate services you may have given some of your details. Also, many banks offer free useful information on how to prevent fraud.
  • Report fraud. You will also be advised to report fraud immediately, or even if you suspect fraudulent attempts in your account. There could even be an instance where you may have accidentally divulged your details to someone. This must also be reported in case there is an attempt at fraud.

Bear in mind that if you give your banking details away over the phone or in an email, you are putting your money at risk. If you are taken to the cleaners, you may not be reimbursed by the bank.

Some Tips to Help You Protect Yourself

  • Beware of social media scams. Banks will never ask you to give your details on any social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Never click on any links in emails. You will be directed to a fake site that will request you to provide ALL your personal details, including ATM PINs.
  • Do not respond to an SMS or phone call that tells you have won big in a competition because of your data or airtime purchase. The scammer will ask that you verify your cell number and your ID. To receive the cash, you will then be required to provide your card number and pin so that money can be deposited. If you have not entered a competition, you could not have won anything. So respond at your peril! You may lose thousands!

Don’t be fooled! Don’t share your personal details. The banks work tirelessly to protect you and your money. They appreciate and care about all their clients, big or small.

You can help them in their efforts by remaining ever-vigilant by taking care of your accounts and immediately reporting any suspected fraudulent activity.

The sooner they know about it – the sooner they will be able to help you.



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