Fraudsters can purchase fraudulent checks using your bank information if they have your bank account number and routing number. They can use these forged checks to make a transaction or cash them. When you give your bank account number over the phone, Internet, or in writing, be sure that it is from your bank or financial institution. If you are not sure whether or not the organization is legitimate, contact your bank first before you give out your account number.
Cashier's check scams nearly often include someone handing you a genuine-looking check or money order and requesting you to transfer money or send products in exchange. You discover that the check issued to you was fraudulent after you deposit or cash it and transmit the money. Scammers use various methods to give the impression that they are who they say they are, including using real checks from businesses that they have duped into giving them permission to write checks against an account that doesn't exist or cannot be traced. Cashier's checks can be used in scams because they provide a way for criminals to convert counterfeit money into valid currency.
In fact, according to the FBI, cashier's checks are the most common method used by fraudsters to steal money. The agency says that such checks are frequently used in identity theft schemes where thieves will create copies of valid checks that they obtain by posing as employees of bank branches or other financial institutions. They will then use these copies to make purchases with actual credit cards or to withdraw funds from legitimate accounts.
Thieves also sometimes use cashier's checks to fund their activities. For example, they may purchase items with the value of the check (which is usually less than what was written on it) and then sell those items for money or use the proceeds to pay for additional items. They will then report the check as lost or stolen and write new ones in its place.
A bank routing number is usually insufficient to obtain access to your checking account, but if they have both your routing number and account number, they may be able to take money from your account. Someone might potentially steal money by exploiting your debit card information. If this happens, contact the bank immediately to cancel it.
You can also be scammed with a telephone call claiming that you have overdue accounts or other problems with your current bank. These calls often come from "collectors" who work for larger companies that pay them a percentage of the debt they collect. The scammers voice quality may seem real, but it's actually faked using computer technology. There are several places online where you can find more information about credit repair scams.
Finally, you could be scammed with an email claiming that there was a problem with your banking information. This scam uses fake emails from known websites to make you click on a link which installs malware on your device. You would then have no way to check your accounts or money without revealing your password. It's best not to open any attachments or click on links in messages.
The most effective way to protect yourself from being scammed is by using common sense. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. Also, only deal with companies that you know and trust.
Follow these guidelines to prevent being a victim of a bogus check scam:
Although a certified check can assist safeguard against fraud and bounced checks, if you accept the payment, keep in mind that scammers can make phony certified checks that appear real. Don't provide your account information to anyone who contacts you directly by email or through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
Also be on the lookout for scams where someone sends you a check made out to another person. This is often done as a way to obtain your account number or other personal information needed to withdraw money from your account. Any company or individual contacting you directly by email or through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter should be considered suspicious.
You should also remain aware of phone calls that say they are from a bank calling to verify information. If you give out any personal information, you may have been contacted by a scammer. Never give out any information when asked for during a phone call from someone you don't know.
Finally, watch out for scams where you're required to pay using a credit card. These schemes sometimes include free gifts or some kind of discount if you will let them use your name on a credit card.
If you receive a check that appears suspicious, contact your bank immediately.
Sharing bank account information is never totally secure. In other circumstances, scammers only require your account and routing data to steal your financial identity. This implies that even something as simple as a blank check, in the wrong hands, might jeopardize your financial stability. However, since most scams involve people falling for phishing or social engineering attacks, simply closing your accounts would be enough protection against fraud.
In the United States, stealing money from someone's account requires more than just an account number. This is beneficial since your account number is given to everybody who receives a check or a bank payment from you. However, knowing someone's bank account number is sufficient to determine their account balance. Thus, if someone knew your account number, they could steal your money by writing checks against it.
The first thing you should do if you discover your account number has been shared is not use that particular institution unless you want everyone who knows your account number to be able to write checks against it. Once you have changed banks, there is no need to tell anyone else your account number.
It is important to remember that although checking accounts are used for depositing funds and withdrawing cash, they can also be used as a storage facility for valuable items. If you leave your account number out in the open, people will be able to take advantage of this fact and steal anything of value that is stored in your account. For example, someone could break into your house and steal all of your jewelry while you are away on vacation.
In conclusion, keeping your account number private is very important. If you share your account number, you may as well give up any privacy you have gained through the establishment of other types of accounts such as savings accounts or credit cards. Also be sure to change your bank if you find out that someone has shared your account number.