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Emerging Trends in Banking Scams

Banking scams are no joke, and they can be negatively life-changing in many ways. Individuals or “organizations” who participate in scams and fraud are constantly looking for new ways to access your information and steal your hard-earned money especially in this digital era, so it’s important to know what types of scams to be on the lookout for. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, which is the first time we’ve reached that number nationwide. Here are recent scams and fraudulent activities that you should be aware of in 2024.

Investment Scams

According to the FTC, nearly half ($4.6 billion) of lost money in 2023 has been attributed to investment scams. The schtick they sell you is that you’ll make a lot of money quickly, with little effort, and minimal to no risk. One popular investment opportunity that is often taken advantage of, while sometimes legitimate, is cryptocurrency. Scammers often market cryptocurrency as a way to get rich quickly, with illegitimate claims of successes and guarantees of investors who are living extravagantly.

Many of the cryptocurrency investment scams originate from some sort of personal outreach via social media or other direct message. You’ll be instructed to download an app or visit a website that allows you to invest, but the company is not real, and they will not actually invest it. If you are being persuaded to invest more by these individuals, you are likely not to see your money again. If you choose to invest in cryptocurrencies, do diligent research and ensure you trust the source.

Overpayment Scams

If you are selling a product or service, an overpayment scammer will send you money that is more than the original purchase price. This can come in the form of a money order, check, or online payment processor like Venmo or PayPal. After you have received that payment, they will request the difference back before the payment has been accepted by your bank (which allows checks to bounce, online payments to be denied, etc.) and you lose both the original payment and what you refunded to the “buyer” because the form in which they paid was through a stolen or fraudulent card.

Automatic Withdrawal Scams

Sometimes your checking account information can be stolen via unsecured websites or fraudulent phone calls. If you have provided your information to these sources, you may be at risk of automatic withdrawals that seem legitimate but are not. Always keep a close eye on your debit card transactions and checking accounts to ensure that everything being taken out of your account is something you agreed to. Also, be mindful of making purchases online if you are not certain that the site and/or your internet connection is secure.

Always be Aware

At the end of the day, scammers and fraudsters will do whatever they can to access your information, so the best thing you can do is be aware, cautious, and never give information to a website, caller, email communication, etc. that you don’t fully trust. If you have suspicions, always reach out to the organization directly (not through any provided links or unsolicited phone calls) to confirm the legitimacy of the information/request.

If you’re looking for more advice or consultation regarding bank scams, please reach out to our staff at Republic Bank by calling 800-526-9127 and visit our library of resources for other helpful financial tips.

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