You can withdraw your money or deposit bucks to a bank, where your bank account number is the main identifier for the bank account. Thus, it’s a smart move to keep your bank account number confidential.
What can someone do with your bank account number and routing number? Scammers are now capable of emptying your bank account with technological tricks and a moment of carelessness. More than 33,000 bank frauds have been reported within the first quarter of 2023.
Hence, you must protect your bank account number and other financial data. In addition, we have mentioned probable bank scams and how to prevent them. Our mission is to make you aware of these scams and what you can do to maximise the protection of your bank account and other related financial assets.
Let’s get started.
Is it Possible to Access Your Banking with Just Your Bank Account Number?
People are curious about whether someone can snatch away their money with just the bank account number. So, what can someone do with your bank account number only? Fortunately, a bank account number alone doesn’t provide enough intel to hijack someone’s banking.
Reportedly, scammers need more than just a bank account number to do damage. However, the leakage of a few other pieces of information and a bank account number can harm the respective account holder.
Well, that doesn’t mean you should care less about your bank account number. You must protect your bank account number and not share it with strangers. In addition, you should keep other financial details safe. Otherwise, scammers might make illegal purchases online, and you might have to take the blame.
Have you had to share your bank account number lately with someone? You should monitor your bank account at least once a week to avoid hassles. After that, you can report incidents to the right authority if something seems fishy.
Ways Scammers Can Get Your Bank Account Number
Is it safe to give someone your bank account number? You can share your bank account number with tax filing service personnel, your employer, trusted online payment processors, loan or credit card providers, family and close friends. Other than them, you should keep your bank account number private from others.
However, scammers have become intelligent enough. They can trick you into handing over your bank account number. Here are a few of the latest tools and technology that scammers use to steal your bank account number:
- Cyber attackers master sending phishing emails. So, you might receive fake text messages or even phone calls demanding you to reveal your bank account number or login details.
- Besides this, hackers target financial institutions often. Hence, your bank account number can be exposed due to a massive data breach if the financial institution can’t restrict the attack.
- Similarly, cybercriminals can make their way into your computer and other network-connected devices. After that, it would be a piece of cake for them to steal your banking information and the bank account number. Hackers often trap customers to download malware and other tools that help them track data and activities.
- On the other hand, scammers can install shimming and skimming devices in ATMs. They are enough to capture your card information once you insert your card.
- Scammers also deploy social engineering tools to get more information about you. Then, they can create fake accounts to win your trust. Thus, they can gain your bank account number and additional helpful information.
- Moreover, they can trespass on your email to get important emails. They target payment processors and online stores to get your banking information.
What Can Someone Do with Your Bank Account Number and Routing Number?
In short, you can lose all your money from that particular bank account. Combining your bank account number and other essential information, such as your routing number, can cause you real damage. A mastermind can use them to empty your bank account.
So, what can someone do with your bank account number and other useful information? Here are some risks that can take place if you share your bank account number with someone:
1. Using Your Bank Account for Online Shopping
Scammers can use your bank account number and other credentials to purchase online items. They create fake websites and present you with too-good-to-be-true deals. Additionally, they specify the payment method that requires your bank account details.
If you place an order just like what they tell you, the item won’t ever reach you. Indeed, scammers can access your bank account and cause financial fraud. Hence, you should know how to bypass this type of attack.
Look for grammatical and spelling errors on such websites. Additionally, these fake websites are look-alikes of popular websites. So, you should verify the URL before proceeding with any purchase. Further, such scamming websites offer only non-reversible payment options.
Therefore, inspect every website before making any purchase online.
2. Credited Money into Your Bank Account
Have you received a notification that a mysterious amount of money has been deposited in your bank account? You might need to learn about the source of the money. On the other hand, you might feel excited.
However, this might be an alarming sign. What can someone do with your bank account number? Scammers might use your bank account as a part of money laundering. Hence, you must take the right action immediately and report such mysterious deposits to the bank.
3. Automated Clearing House Fraud
Crooks can commit fraudulent ACH payments and transfers with bank accounts and respective routing numbers. How can they do that? They can use your banking details to make online purchases.
On the other hand, they might compel you to send them money, and you will never get them back. Simply put, scammers can disappear with cash and change your banking or login credentials. For ACH fraud prevention, you must monitor your bank accounts regularly.
Check out whether your bank account statement has mentions of unusual transactions. Be cautious if you notice several small transfers or withdrawals that you must be aware of.
4. Using Fraudulent Checks
Scammers can create fake checks if they have your bank account and routing numbers. They can write themselves a check and ask the target to deposit such fake checks. And, the victim’s check can bounce, and the entire account can be withdrawn.
Usually, crooks use stolen bank account numbers to create fake checks. They mostly target people who are seeking jobs. Additionally, scammers can instruct victims to open up a new account that should be shared. So, you should look for the following signs if you ever doubt an incoming check:
- The check doesn’t have a proper official financial institution logo.
- Additionally, the check lacks the bank’s address. Make sure you match the address mentioned online with the provided address on the check if there’s an address.
- The check numbers are different or inconsistent between the top-right and bottom corners.
Efficient Ways to Prevent Such Scams
What can someone do with your bank account number? We are sure that you got a pretty clear idea about that. You can lose your money. Worse, you might be charged for something that you haven’t done. However, you should notify the concerned authority about the scam to avoid paying for illegitimate transactions.
For example, banks offer a 60-day window to file a fraudulent ACH transaction. What should you do when someone has your bank account number? If you sense that someone keeps using your bank account, then here are some pieces of advice that might help you:
- Contact relevant financial institutions and agencies. And, report such incidents immediately. Early reporting can help you get your loss reversed. Additionally, chances are that associated scammers would be caught.
- If your bank account has been compromised, don’t settle for anything less. Rather, contact your bank and request the authority to cancel your bank account apart from reporting those scams. This will prevent scammers from accessing your banking, issuing checks, and other possible scams.
A Few Heads-Ups to Avoid Bank Fraud
What can someone do with your bank account number? The consequences can be breathtaking if you provide essential banking information, too. However, you can install an identity theft protection service. This will automatically monitor your bank account activities and alert you if required.
Use a credit card rather than providing your banking information while shopping online. Opt for multi-factor authentication for banking and payment apps on your computers and smartphones—lastly, ditch paper checks for the best results.