5 scams that target your bank account

Don't fall for these frauds that will wipe out your cash reserves.

With numerous data breaches affecting millions of people, many people are on alert about credit card fraud. But not as many are aware when it comes to bank account scams. Bank account scams target a victim’s cash, and the damage can be much more detrimental to one’s finances than other scams – including credit card fraud.

With the potential danger of getting your whole account wiped out, it’s crucial that you are aware of the most common scams that directly target the funds in your bank account and how to avoid them to keep your money safe.

Work-at-Home Job Scams

The economy is still recovering, and the recession resulted in a surplus of people looking for ways to make quick cash. Some crooks take advantage of this situation by offering jobs that require people to transfer funds through their personal checking accounts. The scammers offer victims a “commission” in exchange for facilitating money transfers through their personal accounts.

Award Scams

Many situations that seem too good to be true usually are. That’s not to say these things don’t happen – but winning a lottery or sweepstakes without actually participating? It’s probably not very likely. In these scams, you are told that you’ve won a foreign lottery. Crooks will send you a very large check to deposit into your personal checking account. You will then be asked to immediately wire a portion of the funds to pay for government taxes and administrative fees.

Check Overpayment Fraud

Check overpayment fraud is a popular sales scam that targets sellers from online auctions and classified advertisement websites. During a transaction, the fraudulent buyer will pay the seller with a non-cash payment for more than the amount of the item. In this case, scammers need to move quickly in order to prevent the seller from verifying the check. The seller will be asked to immediately deposit the full amount and wire the difference to the buyer.

The phony check will eventually bounce and be returned unpaid, which will cost the seller an an amount,according to a 2014 MyBankTracker analysis.

The worst part? The seller will be fully accountable for the fraudulent check and the wired amount, which cannot be reversed.

Charity Fraud

Anyone who still uses a landline or online presence may have experienced this once or twice. You receive a call asking for donations. After you’re hooked, the crooks elicit information about your bank account or debit card to make the donation – giving them full access to your checking account.

Cashing a Check for a Stranger

No one wants to turn his or her back on someone who needs help. This scam involves strangers conveniently stopping you at the bank and asking if you can cash a check for them since the bank won’t allow them to because they do not have an account at that bank. In exchange, they’re willing to give you some cash for your time and trouble. Here's the catch: Although the check is deposited, it hasn’t actually cleared. So even if you think you pulled the money from their check, you actually pulled money from your funds and handed them over to the criminal.

This article was originally written on World report

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke