Bank fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution. In many instances, bank fraud is a criminal offence. While the specific elements of particular banking fraud laws vary depending on jurisdictions, the term bank fraud applies to actions that employ a scheme or artifice, as opposed to bank robbery or theft. For this reason, bank fraud is sometimes considered a white-collar crime.
History is full of scams and frauds that have removed billions of dollars from the pockets of investors and destroyed entire economies. In additon to opening new accounts, Identity thieves will take over more exising banking or credit card accounts making many small transactions over time to stay below the radar. The number of attacks will increase as hackers target other types of accounts besides credit cards, including eBay, Amazon, and PayPal. The potenital losses are increasing since fraudsters have stolen large volumes of social securty numbers and other perosnal informaiton. Scary huh?
Three Common Types of Bank Fraud:
Viruses – Viruses are extremely common, though their delivery methods can vary. Malicious software or malware generally are designed to infiltrate systems without being detected by the usual firewalls – whether they are delivered through an email attachment, software, or an open computer network. Viruses can access your information by recording keystrokes, sending ads or spam, or by redirecting traffic to certain websites
Phising – refers to an email that appears to have been sent by a legitimate party, such as a bank, government agency, or well-known business. The email asks you to take action on an urgent matter by clicking on a link to a seemingly official website and providing your information. With a similar ruse, vishing attempts to gain access to your information by providing a fraudulent phone number to contact after informing you of unusual activity via voicemail, email or text message. Through SMiShing, fraudsters try to acquire your information via step-by-step instructions sent by text message from what appears to be a credible source.
Identity Theft – Identity theft is a crime and occurs when your personally identifiable information is stolen and used to commit fraud and other crimes. Common ways fraudsters steal your identity include social engineering, stealing your mail, dumpster diving, the use of personal information they gather from spoof emails and websites, plus other scams.
How to protect yourself :
*Brush up on common scams, and warning signs
*Keep personal information confidential
*Change passwords and pin numbers once a quarter, or when necessary
*Order credit reports, or download the Credit Karma app
*Shred old/unused documents (DO NOT TOSS THEM IN THE TRASH)
*Watch and report unusual banking transactions
*Do not give out any personal information over the phone
*Finally, report it if you see anything
Unfortunately, we are seeing fraud more and more daily. You can’t stop living life, so what you can do is protect yourself. Use these tips and you’ll be able to sleep better at night.
Check out the Top 14 Financial Frauds of all time.