WarrenBoynton Blog

Bank scams


The goal of all bank scams is to gain access to your bank account.

Bank scams require that you share personal financial information with a scammer, install malware on your devices, or use unverified checks and other banking material.

Most commonly scammers will target their victims in these ways:

-  Send fake checks

-  Send spam emails, phone calls, or fake text messages or

-  Trick you into sharing your credit card number or bank account information on a phishing website.

-  Pretend to be an employee of your bank and ask for your account number over the phone.

-  Try to gain remote access to your online banking platform through malware or viruses.

You can help prevent access to your accounts, keep your account information safe, and your money where you want it.

The 10 most common scams for attempting to steal your account information and money are:

1.  Over payment scams

2.  Employment scams

3.  Automatic debit scams

4.  Fake check-cashing scams

5.  Unsolicited check fraud

6.  Government imposter scams

7.  Phishing emails and text messages

8.  Charity scams

9.  Online lending scams

10. Award and lottery scams 

Let’s look at the top five most common scams for attempting to steal your account information.  

1. Over payment scams

Over payment scams target online vendors and sellers. A scammer will pose as a buyer and send the victim a check, money order, or proof of payment for more than the purchase price.

Then, the scammer will ask the victim to refund the difference either through online payment or wire transfer. But the original payment type was fraudulent, meaning the victim loses both the refunded money and often the cost of the “sold” product.   

2. Employment scams

Those seeking jobs are often targeted by bank scams as they are used to provide personal information.

In the instance of an employment scam, the scammer will post a job opportunity and then ask the victim for his or her ID to verify their identity as part of the hiring process. Once your personal information, such as your ID, social security number, etc. is in their possession, they can steal the victim’s identity and access their bank account.

It’s always a good idea to set up fraud and credit monitoring, especially if you are job-hunting. You don’t want anyone to use your credentials for the wrong reasons.  

3. Automatic debt scams

Also known as automatic withdrawal scams, automatic debit scams involve unauthorized withdrawals from the victim’s bank account, typically checking accounts. Scammers get access to the victim’s bank account numbers through fraudulent telemarketer calls or by stealing them from unsecured websites when victims sign up for a free trial. Once a scammer has access to account information, they can debit the account every month.  

4. Fake check-cashing scams

Bank scams often prey on your kind nature. During a fake check-cashing scam, a fraudster will wait outside the bank or another financial institution and ask you to help them cash a check. They’ll tell you they forgot their ID or don’t have an account but need the money right away.

But it’s only after you deposit the check and hand over the money that you find out it was a bad check. When it doesn’t clear, the funds are taken from your account.

5. Unsolicited check fraud

In the case of unsolicited check fraud, the victim would receive, in the mail, a check they did not ask for. The check is often for a rebate or a refund on an over payment. However, rather than ‘free’ money, these checks contain fine print that legally binds the victim to membership, loan, or other costly long-term commitment.

Later in the month, we’ll address the latter five of the 10 most common scams for attempting to steal your account information and money.

If you have any questions about your account or banking in general, you can stop in at one of our branches in New Berlin, Springfield, Modesto, or Palmyra.