Banking and Financing

Banking & Finance In Depth

Banking & Finance Scam Statistics 2020 USA


393k credit card fraud reports
564k total banking & credit related reports

$1,566 loss median reported loss (investment scams)

Source: 2019-20 Consumer Sentinel Report

Banking and finance scams are designed to deceive people into giving over sensitive banking information like PINs and credit card information or even facilitating remote access to your home computer to access your online banking via saved passwords.

Many scam events are designed to steal money, making banks and financial institutions the primary end target. However, banking scams can often be part of broader scams like identity theft, brand or government impersonation, or even 'tech support' scams.

Common Banking and Finance Scams

Some of the most common banking and finance fraud events involve credit cards, debit cards, and mortgage payments.

Credit Card Scams

Credit cards are used as the primary transaction tool for online shopping and the majority of in-store transactions. Most people will be familiar with the experience of lost, stolen, or compromised credit cards. Huge volumes of stolen credit card numbers are for sale on the dark web. 

Credit card details are vulnerable in many ways:

  • Skimmers: Credit card skimming devices can be installed on existing ATMs and credit card payment systems like those used at the gas station. These devices skim the secure credit card information from the magnetic stripe found on the back of the card. Falling victim to a credit card skimming device is particularly confronting since it happened right in front of you. 
  • Careless security: Many credit cards are compromised due to carelessness. This can include not physically being with your card during events like leaving credit cards in cars when valeted or leaving cards in garments at the coat check. 
  • Observational weakness: Many people use cafes and libraries to do their online day-to-day laptop sessions and daily tasks. This is a criminal's playground. For example, reading the credit card number out when paying by phone in a cafe is very vulnerable to being overheard. Or, with a small camera, a customer's card can be filmed when handing it to a cashier or restaurant staff.
  • Website hacks and data dumps: Many websites and businesses store our credit card details to make our recurring transactions and direct debits easier. This includes the biggest brands in the country, all the way down to small mom-and-pop stores. Unfortunately, hackers go after businesses and stored financial information to get large batches of cards in one hit. 
  • Bad vendors: Some e-commerce sites are set up in foreign countries with great deals to encourage you to purchase a cheap item but actually scrape, steal, and re-use the credit card 

Mortgages

Home loans and mortgages are the largest single transaction that a customer will perform with the bank. As such, they provide an opportunity for scammers to try and intercept communications and get the settlement funds diverted to their own "escrow" accounts. 

Savings Accounts & Debit Cards

Debit cards that are linked to savings accounts pose a massive financial risk. If you only have a single savings account and use a debit card for transactions with this account, the loss or compromise of a debit card (in the same way that credit cards are compromised) can expose your entire savings. 

Bank Fraud

Direct attempts to defraud banks are widespread and mainly involve loans for things that don't exist, loans for items that have been overvalued, or loans for things that other banks have already loaned money for. 

There are many sophisticated and terrifying techniques that people use to defraud banks. Examples include a couple featured on American Greed, whose plan was to use multiple banks to finance mortgages of the same value on the same property at the same timeā€”all without any of the banks knowing each other's financing agreements.

Over $50 million in loans was stolen from local banks. 

Many people who are involved in this type of fraud live by John Paul Getty's maxim:

John Paul Getty

If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.

Overpayment & Bank Refund Scams 

Scammers often use the overpayment technique in online transactions on auction websites where they act as a purchaser to send a check for more than the agreed sale price. They wait for you to notify them of the error, and they ask for a quick return of the overpayment.

When you go to cash their check, the bank will take a few days and realize their check is fake or canceled, but you have already sent the money. 

Scams Relating to Banking & Finance

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How to Identify a Fake Email from Your Bank & Protect Yourself

How to Identify a Fake Email from Your Bank & Protect Yourself

Scammers impersonate well-known banks, such as Citibank and Chase, to trick you into giving up your sensitive information—learn how to beat these scams.

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information
6 October 2021 |

Recognize Fake Bank Reps Calling to Steal Your Information

A call from your bank isn't always legitimate—imposters pretend to represent your bank to steal your information and money.

Red Flags of Fake Credit Union Emails: Prevent Phishing
15 September 2021 |

Red Flags of Fake Credit Union Emails: Prevent Phishing

Scammers have turned their phishing attempts to members or credit unions by sending out fake emails hoping to get their hands on valuable personal data.

Fake Bitcoin Exchange Scams: Top Tips to Avoid Falling Victim
1 September 2021 |

Fake Bitcoin Exchange Scams: Top Tips to Avoid Falling Victim

Using a new bitcoin exchange might not seem like a big deal, but if you don't do your research first, you could end up losing thousands of dollars.

How to Avoid Fake Cryptocurrency: Warning Signs of Scams
12 August 2021 |

How to Avoid Fake Cryptocurrency: Warning Signs of Scams

With so many different forms of cryptocurrency available today, it can be hard to keep up and to know which ones are real.

Apple Pay Scams: How to Beat the Thieves Who Are After Your Money
5 August 2021 |

Apple Pay Scams: How to Beat the Thieves Who Are After Your Money

Apple Pay may be a convenient way to send money, but it's also become a favorite among scammers looking to make a quick buck at your expense.

Free PayPal Money Scams: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam
20 May 2021 |

Free PayPal Money Scams: Don't Believe the Hype, It's a Scam

Multiple free money scams that easily fall under the “too good to be true” scams that target loyal PayPal users with promises of free PayPal money.

Fake Escrow: Craigslist Users Beware of This Common Scam

Fake Escrow: Craigslist Users Beware of This Common Scam

Escrow services are supposed to keep your money safe, but in this Craigslist scam, these escrow sites will do more damage than good.

Craigslist PayPal Scam: Signs of This Scam To Watch Out For

Craigslist PayPal Scam: Signs of This Scam To Watch Out For

If a buyer on Craigslist insists on only using PayPal to transfer money to you, be careful not to click on any links that they send you or you receive via email from PayPal.

Protect Yourself From Craigslist Cashier's Check Scams

Protect Yourself From Craigslist Cashier's Check Scams

Beware of buyers on Craigslist who only want to pay for your item with a cashier's check, then overpay you for your items—they're trying to steal money from you.

Guides Relating to Banking & Finance

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4 Things You Should Be Doing At the Gas Pump: Protect Your Money
22 September 2021 |

4 Things You Should Be Doing At the Gas Pump: Protect Your Money

Pumping gas can seem like a basic task—a simple necessity that you need to do every week. What you may not be aware of is gas pumps are a prime target for scammers.

7 Important Steps to Take to Recover from Credit Card Fraud
11 September 2021 |

7 Important Steps to Take to Recover from Credit Card Fraud

After falling victim to credit card fraud, it's important to act quickly and monitor your statement as well as your credit report.

Is Your Bank Really Contacting You Or Is It a Scam?
2 September 2021 |

Is Your Bank Really Contacting You Or Is It a Scam?

The ultimate goal of scams is to steal your money, so it's common for thieves to impersonate your bank or credit union. So, how do you tell who's really contacting you?

How to Report a Scam Website and Why It's Important

How to Report a Scam Website and Why It's Important

With more than 2 million fake websites online, it's important to report any you come across to help the authorities shut them down and protect others from falling for scams.

How to Get Money Back on Cash App if Scammed
23 August 2021 |

How to Get Money Back on Cash App if Scammed

If you've been scammed on Cash App, there are a few things you can try to get your money back, but you need to act fast.

News Relating to Banking & Finance

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News in Other Categories...
N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims
5 October 2021 |

N.J. Man Pleads Guilty to SIM Swapping Conspiracy Stealing Over $500k From Victims

This case shows just why you need to be aware of SIM swapping and how to protect your cell phone number from criminals like this.

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million
22 September 2021 |

Student Loan Scammers Arrested After Stealing $6.1 Million

After a 3-year long scam, Angela Mirabella and six others have been indicted on several charges, including grand theft.

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time
14 September 2021 |

FBI Warns Fake COVID Vaccine Cards Could Lead to Prison Time

Taking a chance on a fake COVID-19 vaccination card seems like an easy way to get around requirements, but think again before you land yourself in prison.

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP
10 September 2021 |

Beware of this New Scam Involving A Fake Call from CBP

Sometimes it just safer not to pick up calls from unknown phone numbers.

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters
23 August 2021 |

Nike Teams Up with U.S. Customs to Stop Counterfeiters

Nike is taking a stand against counterfeiters and stopping fake products before they hit U.S. soil.