15 Steps to Take in 2023 to Avoid Being a Victim of a Bank Scam

The number of victims of bank fraud has been steadily increasing over the past few years. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will receive a total of 2 Reports of 8 million cases of fraud cost the average American victim $5 Lost .0 billion due to fraud [*]

But how do fraudsters gain access to your financial information?  

Most people have either received a phishing message or noticed unusual login attempts on their bank account after receiving a suspicious text or email purporting to be from their bank. If you notice any of these red flags, you may be the victim of a bank scam. You should not dismiss them.  

If you want to keep your hard-earned cash safe, you should learn about the most common bank scams, how you can avoid becoming a victim of one, and how to keep your accounts secure.  

Where Do Bank Frauds Come From?  

Access to your bank account is the end goal of any bank scam. Scammers will be disappointed to learn they need your assistance in order to access your account.  

When you fall victim to a bank scam, you may be asked to provide sensitive financial data to the scammer, download malicious software, or use counterfeit checks or other banking materials.  

Typical methods of bank fraud are as follows:

  • Get you to sign a legally binding agreement by sending you counterfeit checks.
  • Spam you with an email or text message pretending to be from a legitimate company and asking for personal information or providing a link to a malicious website.
  • Convince you to reveal sensitive financial information on a phishing website, such as your credit card number or bank account details.
  • Impersonate a bank employee and give them a call pretending to need your account number.
  • Use malicious software or viruses to gain unauthorized access to your online banking account.
  • Purchase your financial data anonymously

As a pro tip, you can use Aura's Dark Web scanner to find out if your account details are accessible on the Dark Web. We can check to see if identity thieves and hackers have access to your credit card, bank account, and other personal data by using just your email address.

The good news is that what you lose to bank scammers is usually within your control. If you know the tricks of the trade, you can protect yourself and your finances from identity theft and other forms of financial fraud.

A bank scam victim's financial and personal information may be at risk if they do not take immediate action. Protect yourself from identity thieves with Aura's free 14-day trial of identity theft protection!

Beware of Con Artists! How to Avoid Financial Scams

Scammers now have more opportunities than ever to steal money from people's bank accounts. You must protect yourself from fraud by keeping an eye out for red flags and taking measures to prevent your accounts from being hacked.

Some precautions you can take against financial fraud are as follows:

  1. Strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) are essential for protecting your online banking information. Passwords to online banking accounts are a common target for hackers who send phishing emails and set up fake websites. Use a strong password and two-factor authentication to keep unauthorized users out of your account. If you're concerned about the safety of your passwords, you can use a password manager to keep them safe and to alert you if you enter them into a potentially fraudulent website.    
  2. Don't let too much time pass between checking your credit report and your bank statements. Criminals who compromise your financial information may make only a few small withdrawals at first. Keep an eye out for red flags that could indicate identity theft, such as unfamiliar charges or accounts showing up on your bank statement. A service like Aura's Identity Guard can keep an eye on your credit and bank statements and notify you of any suspicious activity that your bank might miss.  ‍
  3. You might want to enroll in a service that protects you from identity theft. All of your most sensitive personal information, online accounts, and finances are under constant surveillance by Aura's top-rated identity theft protection. In the event of a fraudulent attempt to access your financial information, Aura can alert you in time to prevent any damage. If you need immediate security, try Aura out for free for 14 days.

List of the Top 10 Most Frequent Bank Fraud Schemes

Criminals who try to steal your money through fraudulent bank transactions have developed some very sinister schemes.  

You're probably a victim of one of the top ten financial scams, which include attempts to steal your account information or your money.

  1. Extortion schemes involving overpayment
  2. Scams in the workplace
  3. Financial fraud involving direct debit systems
  4. Cheque forgery cons
  5. Cheque forgery that was not requested
  6. Frauds perpetrated by impersonating government officials
  7. The dangers of phishing calls and texts
  8. Misleading donations
  9. Fraudulent online lending practices
  10. Fake prizes and lottery draws

One, overpayment cons

Cybercriminals prey on online marketplace sellers and vendors by overpaying them. Scammers will pretend to be buyers and send you payment in the form of a check, money order, or proof of payment (from an online payment processor) for an amount that is higher than the actual sale price.  

Next, they'll request a refund of the difference via a wire transfer or online payment. However, because of the fraudulent nature of the initial payment method, you often end up losing not only the refunded amount but also the value of the "sold" product.   

Recruiting cons

Bank scams commonly target job-seekers because they frequently divulge personal information in the course of applying for positions.  

To pull off a job scam, a con artist will advertise a position and then request identification documents from the prospective employee. When they have your individual details (driver's license number, social security number, etc.), they can do whatever they want with this information. If they do, they can use your personal information to empty your bank account.  

Make sure your identity isn't being used fraudulently while you're looking for work by signing up for fraud and credit monitoring services. Whenever your personal information is being used without your permission, Aura will send you an alert almost immediately.

In addition to fake employers sending you a check to clear on their behalf or goods to repackage and send back, recruiters who ask for money to "secure" your job are another common form of employment-related fraud.

Related: Recognizing Job Offer Scams and What to Do About It

Thirdly, fraudulent use of pre-authorized bank card charges

These fraudulent activities, also known as "automatic withdrawal scams," target people by making unwanted withdrawals from their bank accounts, most frequently checking accounts.  

Scammers get people's banking information through phony telemarketer calls or by stealing it from free trial signup forms on insecure websites. Scammers can steal your money on a monthly basis once they have your banking information.  

Fraudulent check cashing operations

Cons at the bank frequently target those who are overly generous. Fraudsters in a check-cashing scam will wait outside a bank or other financial institution and ask you to help them cash a check that is not legitimate. They'll claim they can't provide identification or don't have a bank account, but they have an immediate need for cash.  

Only after you deposit the check and hand over the cash do you discover that it was a bad check. Funds are deducted from your account if the check does not clear.  

Online, fake check cashing scams have become commonplace, especially on services like Venmo.

Learn More About What Criminals Can Do With Your Bank Account Number.

Unexpected check fraud

Unsolicited check fraud occurs when a recipient receives a check in the mail that they did not request. These checks may look like free money, but they actually contain fine print that locks you into an expensive loan, membership, or other commitment.  

Inaction: Scammers can empty your bank account or take out loans in your name if you give them your financial information or login credentials. Test out a fraud monitoring and identity theft prevention service to keep your money safe.

Government imposter frauds, number six

In the United States, 1 There will be 8 million robocall complaints in FY 2022 [*]. Also, many of them are con artists impersonating legitimate government or law enforcement organizations like Medicare, the FBI, or the IRS.  

If you don't pay with a gift card, the imposter on the other end of the line (or screen) will threaten you with jail time for unpaid debts. You may be asked to pay taxes or fees before they will release a prize they say you've won.  

Scammers gain access to your funds or private information that can be used to commit additional fraudulent financial transactions. Look around the United States for more examples of government imposter scams. gov

Keep in mind that neither the government nor your bank will ever ask for sensitive information in an unsolicited email or text message. Don't hesitate to hang up and dial the agency's main line if you have any doubts.

How Can Criminals Use My Medicare Number? is a related article.

Pharming Scams, Number Seven

Social engineering attacks known as "phishing" use deceptive electronic messages that appear to have come from trusted sources, such as Apple or your bank. Depending on the context, the message may advise you to change your password because another user has logged into your account.  

When you fall for the scam and click the link, you may give away sensitive information or inadvertently infect your device with malware (which the bad guys can then use to hack your email).  

Although emails are the most common target, phishing scams can also be carried out via text messages and even over the phone. It's true that scams involving advance-fee fraud via
In Q3 of 2022, email saw a 1,000 percent increase [*].

If an email appears to be from a legitimate source, you should exercise extra caution before responding. Again, if you have any doubts, it's best to get in touch with the business and ask if the request is genuine.

8: Charity fraud

There are con artists who will contact you via phone or email claiming to be from a well-known charity (like one that helps veterans, for example). If you give them your debit card number or other sensitive financial information, they could potentially take over your entire account.

9. Fraudulent online loan offers

There is always the option of turning to an online lender if you find yourself in a bind and your bank is unable to help. Many of these services, however, are merely attempts to steal your money online.

Scammers pose as legitimate financial institutions, setting up phony websites and sending "special offers" via email to trick people into giving them money. In order to apply, you'll need to provide personal information like a bank account number or Social Security number.  

Once they have your information, they can apply for loans in your name for real or make up a loan that they will demand immediate payment on. You won't find out the loan was fake until after you pay.  

Ill-gotten prizes and award fraud

Winning the lottery, a sweepstakes, a large sum of money, or some other prize through email can be very exciting. But watch out if they insist you send money or disclose private information to the organizers. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

Learn the Warning Signs of Financial Fraud and How to Avoid Them

One of the primary safeguards against bank fraud is the use of financial monitoring and alerts. Time is of the essence when it comes to blocking unauthorized access to your accounts, and the sooner you can spot an attempt, the better.  

However, there are additional preventative measures you can take to safeguard your finances. If you want to avoid becoming a victim of bank fraud, consider these suggestions.

  1. Overpayment checks should not be cashed. Do not respond to these messages; instead, send them back to whoever sent them.
  2. Avoid sending out personal information until you have verified the position directly and only applied to legitimate job boards.  
  3. If you have any doubts about a job offer, you should check out the company and the recruiter in question before deciding to apply.  
  4. Paying for a job is a bad idea.
  5. Don't enter your credit card information on any site that doesn't use encryption. You can tell that you're on a secure site if the address begins with "https://" (instead of "http://") and there's a locked padlock next to the address.
  6. Confidential information should never be discussed over the phone unless you are speaking with a close friend or member of your family.
  7. Make a thoughtful choice when deciding on a charity's online presence. Give to organizations you know you can rely on.
  8. Before clicking on any links in an email, make sure you've double-checked the address by tapping on the sender to view the full email address. In order to protect their identities, fraudsters can use brand names in place of their actual email addresses.
  9. Put the phone down and hang up on callers claiming to be from the government.
  10. If you receive a call from a government agency requesting personal information, hang up immediately. In cases of doubt, it is recommended to contact an official customer service or agency line.
  11. You should never have to pay money to claim a prize.
  12. Take out loans only from reputable institutions like banks.
  13. If you receive an unexpected check, verify its legitimacy with your bank.
  14. Never, ever, under any circumstances, cash a check for someone else.
  15. Protect your personal information and financial data from hackers by using a tried and true cyber security app like Aura. If you fall victim to fraud, Aura provides up to $1,000,000 in insurance against related losses.

Who Typically Is the Victim of Bank Scams?

The unfortunate reality is that absolutely no one is immune to being a victim of a bank scam. People who are less likely to be aware of or prepared for a bank scam include the young who have recently opened a bank account, as well as the elderly.  

The FTC [*] reports that the likelihood of a victim's age 20s being targeted by a fake check scam is significantly higher than that of any other age group.

Anyone who isn't vigilant or familiar with common tactics stands a good chance of falling for one.

Can Someone Steal My Identity And Start A Bank Robbery?

It's entirely feasible, yes. According to the FTC, identity theft was the most commonly reported form of fraud in 2020 [*]. Scammers who are successful in phishing for your personal information may then use it for any of the following:

  • Get into your bank account and withdraw or transfer all your money.
  • Put money into your name from various sources, borrow heavily on your behalf, and close all your old accounts.
  • Go on a shopping spree with your cash.
  • Check into government aid programs like unemployment insurance.

Emails and social media accounts are additional potential entry points for scammers. Then, taking advantage of your loved ones' blind faith in you, they'll try to pull the same bank scam on them.

Aura offers identity theft insurance of up to $1,000,000 to cover the costs in the event of theft or fraud. You can test out Aura without spending a dime for 14 days.

Have You Fallen Prey to a Bank Scam?  

Time is of the essence if you've fallen prey to a bank scam and need to take action.  

Reporting financial fraud within a short timeframe is typically required for coverage by banks and other insurance policies. If you dally too long, you might be responsible for paying back money that was rightfully lost.

As soon as you realize you've been the victim of a bank scam, you should do the following:

  1. If your credit card details were stolen because you gave the fraudster access to them by accident, Notify your credit card company immediately if you believe your information has been compromised. In an ideal world, they'll be able to cancel the card before the fraudster has a chance to use it.
  2. In the event that a fraudulent transaction has already been made using your credit card information, Credit card companies and the Federal Trade Commission should be notified of the fraudulent purchase immediately. The credit card company might be able to cancel the purchase.
  3. If you sent money or used a debit or credit card to pay the con artist, you may be a victim of fraud. You can also contact your bank about the fraudulent use of your credit card.
  4. A gift card scam occurs when a victim pays the scammer with a gift card. Get in touch with the gift card company and report the transaction as fraudulent.
  5. If you use a money transfer service or digital currency to send money to the fraudster, Call the app's support line and report the purchase as fraudulent.
  6. To send money via the U. S Mail delivery Call the U S Contact the USPS Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 if you want them to stop the delivery.
  7. If you were careless with private details like passwords If you suspect that your password has been compromised and may have been shared on the Dark Web, you should immediately change it and look into it.

Calling for additional support If you've fallen victim to fraud, here are the steps you should take to get your life back on track.

Money Scams Can Be Prevented The Power of Your Aura

You put in long hours to put away cash and secure your financial future. And nothing is more disheartening than seeing all your efforts undone by a con artist or hacker.  

Never give out your banking details to someone without first verifying their legitimacy and determining why they require it. If a scammer sees that, they will likely abandon their attempts to con you.  

Take advantage of Aura's identity and fraud protection services for added security. We'll keep an eye on your financials for suspicious activity, check your credit reports and SSN, and shield you from malicious websites and phishing attempts.  

And if the worst should happen, you'll be protected with a $1,000,000 insurance policy to cover any losses you incur as a result of identity theft.  

Prepared to take identity theft seriously You can try out Aura without spending a dime for 14 days.
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