Bank fraud is more common today than ever. The FTC stated in 2021, bank fraud occurrences increased 70% and consumers lost a total of $5.8 billion to bank fraud. Scammers use many different tactics when trying to get a hold of your financial information.
At Texas Republic Bank, we care about your financial security. Here are 5 ways to prevent it from happening to you.
1. Unsolicited Check Fraud
Scammers might send you a check that looks legit. They make it look like a rebate or overpayment from a company. Without reading the fine print, you might deposit the check only to find out later that you just signed up for a loan or a membership you didn’t want.
How to avoid it: Don’t cash any checks you aren’t expecting until you do your research and find out it’s legitimate.
2. Phishing Scams
With phishing scams, scammers send you an email that asks for personal information. Phishing emails often look real until you inspect them closer. Upon first glance, they look like they are from a reputable company, prompting you to give up the personal information they’re asking for which usually gives them access to your banking information.
How to avoid it: Don’t click on unsolicited emails or provide personal information to anyone that calls or emails acting like a company you deal with unless you verify it’s truly the company (most won’t call or email to ask for your information).
3. Check Cashing Scams
Scammers know which people to target that are generous and will fall for their scams. They use your generosity to ask you to cash a check for them, stating that they don’t have a checking account.
Unknowing and helpful people will often oblige, cashing the check and giving the scammer the money. Because checks take a few days to cash, you find out after you’ve already given the money and the person is long gone that the check wasn’t real or it bounced.
How to avoid it: Don’t cash checks for anyone and always make sure any checks you do cash are from a legitimate source.
4. Government Scams
Scammers often impersonate a government official, threatening to send you to jail for non-payment of your taxes or they claim you won a prize but must pay the taxes first.
All they’re trying to do is collect your bank account information so they can set up automatic withdrawals for the future. The government will never call you and ask for your bank account information or threaten to arrest you.
How to avoid it: Never give your bank details over the phone or internet to someone that calls or emails you, even if they threaten you.
5. Job Scams
Scammers often pretend they have direct work for you but for them to get you started, they first need your bank account information. They’ll often ask for a fee upfront so they can ‘get you started.’ Any legitimate job, though, won’t ask you for payment or your bank account information until you onboard with HR.
How to avoid it: Never pay for a job and never give your bank account information just so you can get a job.
Scammers are getting creative today – trying to find ways to get access to your money. It’s up to you to protect your funds by doing your research, never giving your banking details away, and vetting every situation that you’re asked for your information.
At Texas Republic Bank, we are here to support you. If you ever have any questions about how to protect your bank accounts, we are here to help.