Oh No! October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, it does seem fitting since there is nothing scarier than a new scam aimed at stealing your money! At PSCU we want to help you keep your account safe. Check out this blog post and beware of this new scam!
Scammers are always looking for ways to prey upon people, especially those consumers needing money quickly. One way is to use Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) also know as Mobile Check Deposit (MCD), a service which allows you to deposit a check into your account by taking a photo of it.
The basic ploy these scammer use is to tell you they will deposit money into your account if you agree to send part of the money back to them. To complete this transaction, the scammer will either give you a check and instruct you to use mobile check deposit, or they will ask for your account information and fraudulently deposit the check themselves through your online banking.
Once the funds from the deposited check are available in your account, the scammer instructs you to quickly wire part of the money back to them, and tells you to keep the rest. Sounds like easy money, doesn’t it? Not so fast…
When the credit union attempts to collect the funds from the scammer’s bank, they discover the check is fake. That leaves you responsible for the amount on the check and the returned check fee. And that money you already wired to the scammer? You will never get that back.
There are other variations of this type of check scam:
• An online loan website. To receive the loan, you must give the company your credit union account number, online username, and password so the company can deposit the check into your account. The company deposits a check using remote deposit capture and then instructs you to return the money to prove you are trustworthy.
• Mystery shopping. The scammer hires you to evaluate stores. The “employer” deposits a check into your account and instructs you to use some of the money to buy gift cards from these stores. You must send the “employer” the PIN numbers for the gift cards you purchased.
• Personal Assistant jobs. You apply online and are required to give your new boss your account information. The boss deposits a check into your account and, like the scenario above, tells you to use part of it to buy gift cards. You just need to give the boss the PIN numbers.
• Car-wrap advertising job. You are offered thousands of dollars to wrap your car with a company’s ad. The check is deposited into your account and you are told to wire part of amount to their shrink-wrap vendor. (The scammer and vendor are really the same person). After you wire the money, the credit union finds out the check was fake, and your “employer” has disappeared.
Bottom line: Never give your account and online banking information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
If you ever think something looks, sounds or feels suspicious… please reach out to us for guidance. Our staff is regularly updated on current fraud and scams. We can help you determine if something is legitimate or not. Call or text us at 260-432-3433.