Beshear: Mobile Deposit Scam Leaves Victims Repaying the Bank

A new scam warning was issued by Attorney General Andy Beshear today after a mobile deposit scam left a Franklin County resident with a $10,000 bank tab.

Beshear said reports from legitimate local banks and Kentuckians indicate scammers are succeeding in their efforts to put a new twist on the old counterfeit check scam.

“Falling victim to a counterfeit mobile deposit scam often results in the scammer getting away with the money and the victim repaying the bank,” said Beshear. “Before making or approving a bank deposit from an unverified source we recommend Kentuckians first confirm with a valid bank that it is not a scam.”

The latest scam report includes a victim who provided her online bank account information to what appeared to be a legitimate banking institution to deposit a $10,000 personal loan. Shortly after, the “lender” claimed there was an issue and that the money must be returned and reissued. After sending the money back using an untraceable method of payment, the victim’s bank detected that the loan check was counterfeit and the victim was stuck repaying the bank.

Beshear said Kentuckians must be even more vigilant about protecting their online banking information as banking technology advances. The Office of the Attorney General offers the following tips to help Kentuckians avoid banking related scams:

Know your responsibilities.
Until the bank confirms that the funds from a check, including cashier, business or personal checks or a money order, you deposited have cleared you are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check. Even if the funds appear to be immediately available, that does not mean the check is good.

Verify checks and loans before depositing.
Ask for a check to be drawn on a local bank or a bank with a local branch so you can visit to make sure the check is valid. If you are unable to personally visit the bank where the check was purchased, independently verify the bank’s phone number and call to verify.

Never use untraceable methods of payment.
If you are asked to wire money or use untraceable methods of payment, it is most likely a scam.

Secure your online bank information.
Be wary of ever disclosing your banking username and password. Take advantage of security measures your bank may offer, like dual security checks and fraud alerts, to protect your account from scams. If you mistakenly provide your account number, password or PIN in an email or text or on a website that might be fraudulent, call your bank right away.

To report scams or identity theft to the Office of the Attorney General fill out the online consumer complaint form. For additional information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on how to avoid fake check scams, visit the FTC website.

Beshear recommends all Kentuckians stay ahead of scammers by signing up for his office’s Scam Alerts. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV-311 (468-311) or online at ag.ky.gov/scamsand select text message or email alert.

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