It’s similar to a scam seen on college campuses in 2019 with a tech twist.
Back then, fraudsters flashed cash to try to get people to cash bad checks or make bad deposits so they could take the money and run before they got caught.
Now, with bank account fraud, they’re offering the money through social media posts and promising easy cash for:
- Opening a bank account and requesting an instant-issue debit card.
- Making a deposit to your existing bank account as a favor.
- Providing your debit card or online banking information.
Almost immediately afterward, fraudulent deposits are made via debit card at ATMs or Mobile Deposit. The money is removed, largely through mobile payment services, before the deposited check bounces and the fraud is discovered.
“The old adage that ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ certainly applies here,” said Don White, head of Corporate Security at Regions. “You’re making yourself part of the fraud if you participate and opening yourself up to a lot of potential harm.”
Those possible consequences include:
- Having to repay the full amount of any deposited check that bounces plus resulting fees (depending on the situation and your state’s laws)
- Increasing your vulnerability to identity theft if you gave someone your card, account information or online banking credentials.
- Being investigated by law enforcement and potentially losing access to your account if it is closed to prevent further losses.
“Every one of these could affect your relationship with Regions or other financial institutions,” he said. “So if someone says, ‘Hey, I can help you earn some quick cash or DMs you in social with, ‘Hit me up if you have a [bank name] account,’ simply ignore them and move on.
“Don’t fall for it. Never share your personal financial information, or account, with anyone.”
Regions Corporate Security recommends a handful of simple steps to protect yourself from bank account fraud.
Don’t take the bait:
Remember, the fraudsters are good at adapting. They’ll come up with some persuasive story about how you will benefit from working with them. But it’s never a good idea to put a stranger’s check in your account.
Decline, move on, and speak up:
Do not respond to social media posts promising quick cash for use of your banking access. If you’re approached by someone running a scam like this, politely explain that you cannot take part, and move on. Then, let your local bank branch – and law enforcement – know what happened. The more people are looking out for activity like this, the less likely it is for criminals to succeed.
Take immediate steps to secure your account if you’ve fallen into a scheme:
Change your password. Review your account carefully. Cancel your debit card. And let your bank know. If the fraudsters have already taken money because they were given access, that money might not be recovered. But alerting bank staff can help protect what remains – while raising awareness of fraudsters operating in your area. The safest bet is to never share personal financial information with anyone.
See Regions.com for more information on how to prevent financial fraud like bank account fraud, and continue to check Doing More Today for additional insights and resources designed to help protect your accounts.
Regions Bank. Member FDIC.
The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/fraud-preventionor speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud.