Most people in the nation are used to putting their life savings in their bank account, only having a plastic debit card in their wallet as a method of payment versus having a lot of cash. That way, there’s no accidentally dropping a whole wad of cash and there’s no way a robber can take all your cash. However, scammers have found ways around this to steal every ounce of cash you have out of your bank account and commit bank fraud, including pretending to be your bank itself.
Scammers Can Mimic the Caller ID From Your Bank
One day, Mitch received a call from what he thought was his bank, telling him that his bank account had been hacked. He said that the Caller ID matched what was on the back of his card and he didn’t give them any information. He even checked his bank account while he was on the phone since he knew that scammers can spoof their caller ID, and saw that his bank account had unauthorized transactions of under $100 a piece. Because of this, he thought he had no reason to suspect anything.
The lady on the phone then reassured Mitch that they would reverse the fraudulent charges on his card and that they would send him a new debit card in the mail. After confirming with the lady that she knew which charges were fraudulent, Mitch hung up with the lady and carried on with his night.
The next day on a Saturday, another call from the same number called him and told him about suspected bank fraud on his account again. This time, Mitch had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right so he called his bank’s customer service department on a different phone while having the suspicious caller remain on the line.
Mitch asked the customer representative if they had initiated a call with him, and they confirmed that they were on the other line with him. The guy on the other line then asked him for his OTP (One-Time Passcode) texted to him. Mitch was reassured that he was talking to his actual bank since they always ask for an OTP to confirm that he’s talking to an actual customer service representative.
Mitch then confirmed the fraudulent charges and had them reversed, thinking that everything was resolved… but was it really?
Mitch Had Been Scammed… Again
The real scam has begun on Mitch’s bank account when he logged on the following Monday and saw that $9,800 had been stolen from his account. He called his bank back to confirm that his worst financial nightmare had happened, someone pretended to be him that Saturday and Mitch is now a victim of bank fraud.
When the customer service representative said that Mitch was on the line with them as well, they weren’t aware that it was actually the scammer. It wasn’t actually Mitch, it was the scammer pretending to be Mitch. When Mitch gave the scammer the OTP, he repeated it back to his bank and accessed all his information while also wiring $9,800 to a different account.
Mitch and his bank believe that his pin and debit card had been stolen by a skimmer hidden at a gas station or another point-of-purchase device. They could then take his debit card number and pin to make a fake ATM account, stealing his funds. This explains why there were tiny charges on his account at a time.
The investigator looking into Mitch’s fraud case also saw that the money was transferred to an online account in Florida also in Mitch’s name. He then recalled that when he called his bank’s customer representative on that Saturday, they asked him if he was traveling out of town to visit family in Florida. He told them no, but since they thought the scammer was also Mitch they put on his account that he was traveling to Florida anyways.
They were able to get his money back and shut down the online account in Florida, but Mitch has a lot of regrets about how he handled this situation. The scammers stumbled a lot when they talked to Mitch about his account, and it immediately gave Mitch a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. However, he ignored it and talked to them anyway, trusting that it was his actual bank calling and that the caller was just new. He suggests that if your bank calls you to hang up and call back to verify that it’s actually your bank calling.
How to Avoid Bank Fraud
- If your bank is calling you, hang up and call the number on the back of your card. Scammers can mimic caller ID and pretend to be your bank, so it is always a good idea to call the official number on the back of your card. This will confirm that you’re talking to an actual bank representative.
- Don’t give out personal information over the phone, unless you call the bank yourself. By calling the bank yourself, it limits the chances of you giving your information to the wrong person. If someone randomly calls you and asks for personal information, don’t give it to them until you call your bank back.
- Report any bank fraud to your financial institute immediately. If you notice anything fraudulent on your account, call your bank and report it immediately.
If you feel like you’re being scammed out of your money and need to find out if a phone number, email, or name is real, Social Catfish is here to help! You can reverse search this information to see who is really contacting you to make sure that it’s actually your bank you are talking to.