4 common banking scams and how to avoid them

Banking is one of the most technologically advanced sectors. From being able to deposit money into one’s bank account to sending money overseas, most transactions today take a few minutes to a couple of hours to complete. However, the banking sector is most vulnerable to scams from criminals who gain illegal access to a customer’s personal and financial information. This is why one should know about these 4 common bank scams and how to protect oneself.

Overpayment scam
These usually begin with scammers sending counterfeit checks or money orders for more than the amount owed to a seller. The scammer then asks the seller to deposit the money in the bank and wire the difference back. However, the fake check will eventually bounce, and the bank will charge a returned check fee, leaving the seller without any funds wired to them and losing the product. Therefore, one should confirm the buyer’s name, telephone number, and street address before accepting the check and not accept a check for more than the selling price.

Automatic debit scam
The scammer may contact one by email, text, or phone to siphon the information and set up automatic payments to themselves from the account. This might look like a genuine monthly subscription for services, but instead, it is someone stealing funds. To avoid this, one must not give up or confirm the account routing number to a random individual. Even if they claim to be from the bank, they should call the establishment to check if the request is legitimate.

Fake contest
Scammers may contact an individual saying they have won something and must send payment only for shipping or processing the prize. When the person sends the shipping fee, they never receive an item. One could avoid this by not giving away money for something that sounds too good to be true. And even though the shipping fee may seem small, one should remember the scam is carried out on a large scale, which means the scammer accumulates a large amount in the long haul.

Unsolicited check fraud
Sometimes, people receive a check in the mail that may look like a rebate check or a refund for overpayment. When they sign and cash it in, they may enter into a legally binding contract that ties them into a loan, membership, and other unwanted long-term commitments that may cost them a huge sum. One should inspect the check thoroughly and pay attention to the fine print for any discrepancies.