Patriot in the News

Watch Out for Remote Deposit Scams

Remote deposit capture or mobile deposit is designed to allow you to conveniently make deposits to your checking, savings or money market accounts from a remote location by taking a picture of your checks and delivering the images to your credit union. While mobile deposit is convenient, it also presents an opportunity for scammers.

While there are several ways that criminals are employing remote deposit capture scams, the most common way is stealing account holders’ personal or account information or tricking them into providing it with social engineering. Scammers trick their victims by promising them anything from love to jobs to loans to free money in exchange for their information.

The scammer may simply ask for your online banking information if you already have it set up or the scammer may request your account and personal details that they will then use to set up an online banking account. You may be asking yourself “why would I give out that information?” or you might be thinking “of course I know not to give out my personal or account information.” But the scammer usually has a seemingly legitimate reason to need this information.

Here are a few examples of common scams that lead to remote deposit capture fraud:

Romance scam

The con begins when the scammer creates a fake profile, often using stolen photos, posing as a great looking, caring, and sensitive person just searching for his/her soul mate. This person is a professional scammer, not a true love. The scammer tells the victim many things the victim wants to hear, confesses their love very quickly, and then suddenly needs some sort of financial assistance.

Job scam

Many work-from-home scams start online and end with your account in the negative. It starts with an advertisement for jobs that do not exist like mystery shopper or car wrap advertising. These jobs usually involve a deposit to the account, and the member is instructed to send a portion of the funds elsewhere.

Loan scam

Fraudulent online loan scams are similar to job scams. Advertisement for loans that are not legitimate can lead to a victim providing personal and account information which gives scammer access to the victim’s account.

Easy money

Quick easy money appeals to almost everyone, right?! This typically involves a friend of a friend on Facebook and an opportunity to make quick easy cash by simply allowing funds to be deposited then withdrawn from the member’s account.

Each of these scenarios typically ends with the member giving account access to the scammer. With this information the scammer is then able to make deposits through the mobile deposit function. Once the funds have been released for availability, the scammer will instruct the victim to send funds to himself or a third party. Then, days or weeks later, the check will bounce leaving the victim responsible for losses and returned check fees. Scammers know the simple fact, if they can trick you into depositing into your account, you will be responsible for the loss and theft of your money.

Knowing who is conducting business and what transactions are happening in your account is an important part of transacting deposits at the credit union. If you are ever in doubt about a check, deposit, or payment please contact the credit union and ask for assistance.

Visit this webpage for alerts and more information on common scams.

Remember the old adages: “There is no free lunch in life” and “It sounds too good to be true.” If someone promises you free money, it’s not free. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t give out personal or banking information to people you meet online – it only gives them a way to steal from you.