Banks are reporting customers are falling for a new form of fraud known as a money mule scam. People are recruited through Facebook or social media through what appear to be work-at-home jobs or other opportunities where they are lured as a money transfer agent (middle man). Victims of these scams are told they will receive deposits into their account with instructions on withdrawing the funds and forwarding money to a designated contact person. The victim is told they will receive a percentage of the proceeds as commission.
The victim is next instructed to provide their personal online/mobile banking usernames and passwords to the contact person. This allows the fraudster to log in to the accounts to access mobile deposit services to deposit their checks. The checks are then returned typically after the victim has already withdrawn the funds, leaving a negative balance and multiple fees. Most people who fall victim to this scam do not have the funds to cover their negative balance.
Better Banks as always, takes great precaution in preventing against schemes such as these but everyone should be aware that fraudsters come up with new schemes each and every day. If it does not feel right, odds are it isn’t! Please alert us to any such potential scams that you may feel are being perpetrated by contacting us as soon as possible at 309-272-1000 with as many details as possible. Stay alert, protect yourself and never give your online banking login information to someone!