If you are the kind of person who is fond of online shopping, you must be very aware of the different payment schemes the shop implies. You could assign your checking account as a payment option; however, by just simply inputting your personal and banking information online, you may not know that you could be at risk or a potential victim for scammer and bank hackers and do something terrible to your account such as the following:
Someone who knows your bank information such as account number and routing number can do the following: withdraw money from your account, use for online purchases, deposit money into your account, counterfeit checks, and eventually can hack your bank account.
Luckily, someone cannot easily access fully your bank account by just knowing your account number and routing number. They must also get some personal information such as your home address or even just your driver’s license number will do so that they can manipulate your bank account. Hence, listed below are things they can do with your account.
Things Can Other People Do With Your Bank Account
If you always go banking, most probably you have tried different ways on how to make your banking transactions easier and faster. Probably, most of your transactions were done online, or you ask somebody to go to the bank instead. Therefore, you need to give your bank account and routing number to make the transaction go smoothly and this creates an opportunity for someone to know your bank information such as your account and routing number.
Therefore, to give you an overview of what other people do with your bank account; here are some possible scenarios:
1. Withdraw Money From Your Account
There are actually two ways on how can someone withdraw money from your account.
First, this can happen when you pay someone with a check.
As you know, all your important information such as your account number, routing number, your complete name, address, and your signature are printed on your check. Therefore, someone who has your check can obtain this essential information, which can be used to withdraw money from your account. What is worse is that this information can also be used to make several duplications of your check and input any amount and we all know that this is illegal.
Under Federal Law, illegal check reproductions can be considered a felony since it involves forgery and forfeiting of information. Fortunately, banks have preventive measures for these kinds of frauds and prevent processing these forfeited checks; therefore, there is no need for you to panic.
Another way, wherein someone can withdraw money from your account is through double deposit attempts.
This means that someone will attempt to deposit your check twice or thrice times on their account. I will give you an example scenario of how these people do this trick.
For example, you gave someone a check, as payment for something, so what that person will do is that he/she will deposit that check for a later time intentionally. Therefore, the hardcopy of the check is still in that person’s possession for that period. He/She will do next is that he will make an alibi saying that he forgot that he had already deposited the check through mobile. Even though the bank has security mechanisms to detect double presentments, still there are a lot of ways to make deposits such as through mobile, ATM, or you go personally to your bank; therefore, there is a tendency that communications can be easily mixed up and there is a chance that you will lose money from your account.
Hence, I would like to recommend that you must always check and monitor your money and bank activities on your account. In this way, it can help you capture some potential duplicate withdrawals.
TIP: For people, you are not affiliated with, or people you are not fully familiar with, avoid paying and issuing checks. Paying through cash is the best possible option for this.
2. They Can Use Your Account Number For Online Purchases
Another way, your bank account can be used by someone is through online shopping. One very good example of online retailers that accept payment through bank account is Amazon. Once you have checked out, you will be redirected where you will need to enter your account number and routing number. However, to use your bank account number and routing number to make online purchases, they still need another important personal information, which is your driver’s license number along with your name and address.
3. They Can Use Your Account And Routing Number To Deposit Money Into Your Account
There are actually three situations where people can deposit money through your account.
- It could be a bank error
- Someone is plotting to set up you in illegal activities
- You asked someone to deposit money on your account
There are times where banks usually have some mixed-ups of information in which they can mistakenly deposit money on your account. The bank will notify you through email or text message that there is a system error. Of course, they will take the money back from your account; therefore, if you are unsure where the money came from, DO NOT SPEND IT, unless it is a gift from a bank fairy. Just kidding!
Plotting You In Illegal Activities
It would be overwhelming when you see your bank account with an extra pile of money; however, you should be cautious with this type of modus since you do not know where this money came from. There is a chance that someone is plotting evil against you that involves money from illegal activities. If ever you encountered situations like this, call your bank immediately to report.
You Asked Someone To deposit On Your Account
For example, if you lend someone money and you asked that person to deposit his/her payments on your account in which that person must know your bank information in order to deposit. However, the bank might require the depositor to present a valid ID that allows him/her to link the money on your account. Other bank deposit policy includes that the depositor must have an account with your bank in order to make deposits.
For more information, you can call the Customer Service of your bank to make an inquiry in regard to this matter since different banks have different banking policies.
In addition to this, people can counterfeit your check if he/she knows your bank and routing number since these are basic information usually reflected on a check. As a result of this, people can manipulate your account and later on, it can be hacked because someone has access to your bank details that make it easy for him/her to take advantage and control it.
Therefore, you might be wondering how will you know if someone else is using your bank account information. Here are my tips below.
How To Know If Someone Else Is Using My Bank Account Information?
Once you have issued checks to someone, or you are fond of online banking, there is always a chance that someone can access your bank account. Therefore, here are my tips on how you will know if someone is using your bank account information, though your own instinct will just feel it that someone has already been controlling your account.
Tip #1: There is an unusual banking activity
When you review your past banking history, you will notice that you did a bank transaction such as withdrawing money, even though you did not. You may also notice that you received deposit money on that day, even though you are not expecting any money to be sent on your account.
Tip #2: You will receive a notification from your bank either a text message or an email
You will know that someone is trying to use your account if he/she attempts to open your account, unfortunately, he/she failed to make it. Therefore, if someone reaches the maximum limit to make an attempt accessing your account, your bank will send you a notification through text message or email that someone is attempting to open your account and then you will confirm it if it was you who made the transaction. I would recommend you call your bank to discuss what will be the best thing to do for that kind of situation. Otherwise, here are the steps on how to deal with situations wherein someone is using your bank account.
What to do if someone is using your bank account for an unauthorized transaction
It is very important to act quickly if ever you encountered these kinds of situations where someone is manipulating your account. This can help you protect yourself from further unauthorized transaction charges. You just need to follow these simple steps if you find an unauthorized transaction on your account.
Step One: Call Your Bank
The first thing you must do instead of dwelling with your panic attack is to call your bank. This will give you information about the transaction and whether it is made through online or in-person. Therefore, the bank will temporarily freeze your account until the issue is resolved.
If the transaction is already posted and reflected on your account, you can file for a dispute to get the money back on your account. This will be discussed in the next step.
Step Two: File For A Dispute With Your Bank
By filling out a dispute form and provide some information in regard to the unauthorized transaction, your money that was taken from your account may be reimbursed by the bank. However, you have only sixty days to file the dispute formally that is why you must act quickly as you can, especially if badly needed the money. To learn more about this, you can check this site on how to get your money back that was stolen from your account.
Step Three: Report To The Police
If the severity of the loss and the number of unauthorized charges is high, definitely you need to file a fraud report to the police. However, by doing this, it will not hasten the recovery of your money. This is just an additional paper report that shows your innocence to the bank that you are not the one who made the transaction. Thus, this can also help to clear your account.
Moreover, filing a police report will help you find out if the thief committed identity theft; therefore, make sure you keep a copy of the police report in case you need it in the future for reference.
To help you further, here are some safe banking tips, which comes handy so that it can prevent you from these situations.
Safe Banking Tips
I recommend you practice these safety tips to make your banking transactions smooth and safe.
- Keep all your bank papers that contain personal information such as account number, routing number, social security number, etc. in a cabinet that can be locked
- Make a regular review of your statements of account to ensure all the banking transactions are correct.
- Filter emails from unknown senders
- If you notice anything suspicious, call your bank right away
- Make sure you balance your bank account on a regular basis
- Do not share your banking information to someone you do not trust
- Have a separate bank account for your personal and business
- If you go online shopping, it is better to use sites you have known for so long and are trusted
- Make sure you add passwords to your accounts
- If ever you received a call from someone insisting that he/she is a bank personnel, make sure not to give any sensitive information. Hand up immediately, if you find it suspicious.