HOW TO SPOT & AVOID MOBILE DEPOSIT SCAMS
January 9, 2023
From online Bill Pay to E-Statements to easy funds transfers, Online Banking from Fibre Federal Credit Union allows our members to bank from anywhere. This includes making deposits on the go. After all, why rush out to a financial services center when you can make a deposit from your mobile device?
Unfortunately, the popularity of mobile deposits also means the popularity of mobile deposit scams. Keep reading to learn more about our Mobile Deposit service, mobile deposit scams, and how to keep you and your finances safe.
WHAT IS MOBILE DEPOSIT?
With Fibre Federal Online Banking, making a mobile check deposit is as simple as taking a picture! You can deposit paper checks into your account using a camera or scanner without visiting a financial services center or an ATM.
Once you’ve signed up for our free Online Banking and downloaded our app, you can deposit checks into any account on which you’re a joint signer. Just follow these simple steps:
- Open the app and choose Deposit Check from the bottom menu.
- Endorse your check by signing your name and writing “For Mobile Deposit Only at Fibre Federal Credit Union” in the endorsement area.
- Take a picture of the front and back of your check as directed and click Submit.
It’s as easy as that! Have more questions about mobile deposit? We have answers!
WHAT IS A MOBILE DEPOSIT SCAM?
Fibre Federal ensures that any information transmitted to us is done electronically using the highest encryption tools available. All check images are stored on a secure server – not on your mobile device – and deleted as soon as the app is closed on your phone or tablet.
We take every precaution to make sure your information is safe and secure. But part of staying safe and secure is knowing that there are scammers out there looking to gain access to your funds.
A mobile deposit scam usually starts with a scammer contacting you via email or social media and often involves a check being deposited into your account. The check will ultimately turn out to be fake and, through the deception, the scammer will have convinced you to send them money or reveal personal financial information.
THE MOST COMMON MOBILE DEPOSIT SCAMS
The concept behind mobile deposit scams may seem simple but there are several ways scammers can try to trick you. Knowing about the most common mobile deposit scams is your best defense against becoming a scam victim.
Scammers will post advertisements for jobs that don’t exist as part of a mobile deposit scam. The job, whether it be a mystery shopper, personal assistant, or something else, involves a check being deposited to your account with a portion of the funds getting sent to the scammer. By the time the check is found to be fake, the scammer is long gone.
For instance, you are hired as a “personal assistant” and sent a check to buy gift cards for your employer and told to send them the PINs. Once they have the numbers, the cards are used instantly and the money’s gone too.
Or you’re hired as a mystery shopper to evaluate a business. You are sent a check and asked to deposit it and wire part of it to your so-called employer. As soon as you do, the money and the “employer” can’t be found.
These scammers can come up with elaborate stories that take advantage of a job seeker’s need for employment. In addition to fake checks, they may try to get you to reveal personal financial information to gain access to your funds.
Everyone wants to win! Scammers count on that to pull off this type of mobile deposit scam.
Let’s say you get a notice saying you’ve won a prize. You may be sent a check or other information but discover that you have to send money to cover taxes, processing fees, or other charges. Unfortunately, when the check or details are found to be fake, you are out of any money you sent to the scammers.
If you sell stuff online, be on the lookout for this type of mobile deposit scam. A scammer will purchase something from you online and send you a check for more than the agreed amount. They then ask you to send them back the amount of the overpayment. This is a scam and you’ll be out the “refund” amount.
Sometimes referred to as “catfishing scams,” this type of mobile deposit scam involves a fake online profile on any of the popular dating sites.
These scammers try to form a relationship with their targets and then ask for money to be wired for a medical emergency or family situation. You may even be asked to set up a new bank account as part of the fraud, using funds from a fake check.
HOW TO AVOID MOBILE DEPOSIT SCAMS
The above are only some of the mobile deposit scams out there and you can bet that scammers will be thinking up new ones! These scams often work because the checks look real, or the person or “employer” online seems genuine. You must be vigilant to protect yourself.
Fibre Federal wants to help you protect yourself from fraud every step of the way. Take these additional steps to avoid mobile deposit scams.
Don’t Wire or Transfer Money
Scammers will ask you to deposit a check and send them money through gift cards, money orders, wire transfers, or even cryptocurrency. This is basically like sending them cash and can be difficult to trace. Once the check is found to be fake, the scammers have moved on to a new target.
Also, remember that gift cards are for gifts! Anyone who asks you to pay for something with a gift card or to provide a gift card pin is most likely a scammer.
Protect Personal Information
Never share personal information regarding your accounts online. If you receive an inquiry, always double-check by contacting the financial institution directly to make sure it’s a valid request. You’ll thank yourself later.
Be Wary of Online Offers
Always be careful with online activity. Won a sweepstake and have to pay to get the prize? If that doesn’t sound right, it’s because it’s not! If you receive a notice saying you won a prize but must pay to get it, it’s most likely a scam.
Likewise, if you’re conducting business in an online marketplace and receive an overpayment, don’t accept the offer. A scammer will ask for a “refund” using a fake check.
Safeguard Online Accounts
With Fibre Federal, you can access your account information through Online Banking at any time. Make it a habit to check your activity regularly. Notice something amiss? Contact us immediately!
It’s also wise to use Fibre Card Manager to keep track of your cards. You can even get alerts sent to your mobile device.
And it’s not just your online banking accounts you need to consider. Protect your social media accounts too, because scammers can also use those to get access to your personal details.
WHAT IF YOU’RE SCAMMED?
If you think you may have been a victim of a mobile deposit scam, quick action is necessary. Contact our Card Services Department as soon as possible. We can work to block or monitor your accounts. You can also count on after-hours support. Our 24/7 Card Care Center is always available at 1-833-462-0796.
There are additional measures you can take if you feel as if you’ve been scammed. Contact the company or services you used during the scam – whether that be a gift card retailer, a wire transfer company, or other retailer.
You should also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission to help prevent others from becoming victims.
PREVENT MOBILE DEPOSIT SCAMS WITH FIBRE FEDERAL
Fibre Federal wants you to stay financially safe and healthy. That’s why we work to protect you from mobile deposit scams while making sure you have access to the best financial products and services available.
If you want to get started with Mobile Check Deposit, we can help! Find out more about this service today!