Bank Fraud Alert
by Samuel Witherspoon
Bank fraud isn't new, but
seniors are particularly vulnerable to a relatively new form of
bank fraud that comes directly to them via their email account and
asks them to update their banking information online. Almost
inevitably, there is a threat that not "updating" this
information will mean a suspension of the reader's bank
accounts. It is also often stated that this procedure is
being done to protect you and to make sure that you are not a
victim of fraud.
Bottom line... EVERY attempt to do this is
a lie, a fraud, and the person that sent this to you is trying to
steal from you. These bank frauds can look very real with
some very sophisticated programming that even a few experienced
Internet users would be fooled by, including using a URL that
really looks like one that belongs to their bank.
Click here for bank fraud
What's at stake? At the very least,
it's your money, your savings, perhaps your stock portfolio, and
often, it's your very identity in the world you live in.
It's just that simple and that severe.
If you click on the link, it takes you to
a page that looks very much like your bank's website, basically
because the conman stole the logo and the look and feel of the
bank site. It asks you for your name, bank account numbers,
password or PIN number, it can ask for your address, social
security number, or any other amount of information that sounds
like it would be reasonable for you to give your bank.
What happens with this information is that
it does NOT go to your bank. It goes into the computer
crooks who will use it to clean out your bank accounts,
sell your stock and steal the money, obtain credit cards in your
name, and pretty much ruin you financially.
In case you are thinking that you are
protected by this kind of fraud by your bank or the FDIC (Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation), you will be in for a real
heartbreaker. The FDIC protects your money if a bank robber
steals your money or a bank shuts their doors. It does not
protect you from thieves who use your information to steal from
Protect yourself from fraud
Bank systems are pretty safe, in and of
themselves. Where bank fraud happens almost exclusively is
when people voluntarily give up their personal information to
someone else or online.
Your bank will NEVER ask you to go online
and update or confirm your information. It will not
happen. Neither will you get a phone call telling you that
they need to update your information or that they are sending you
an email for you to do it. If you get such an email, it is
fraud; there are no exceptions. Do not click on the link as
doing this alone can tell the sender who you are.
Instead, call your local bank and tell
them what you have received and follow their instructions.
But do not call any number than may be on the email. That
too can be fake. Instead, look up the telephone number in
the telephone book.
If you have filled out the requested
information, waste no time in contacting your bank. If the
bank is closed, do not wait until morning. Your money will
probably be gone by then. Instead, look in the phone book
and see if there are any numbers that someone will answer.
Many banks have merchant numbers that will be answered all night
long. Also check the back of your credit card to find the
toll-free number and report this to them. This is especially
true if the credit card you have is issued by your
If you notify your bank in time, they can
disable your accounts until you can come in and clear up the
problem, switch your money over to different accounts with
different passwords, and at least partially eliminate the problem.
You should also notify all 3 major credit
reporting agencies, Experian,
They can notate your information that you have had an attempt to
steal your identity and this information would then be transmitted
to anyone looking up your credit history for approving credit in