In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission received more than 2.1 million consumer fraud reports. Bank fraud is defined as the deliberate misrepresentation of facts to obtain your money or confidential information or even steal your identity.
A report on MSNBC said that during 2021 consumers reported the loss of $5.8 billion to fraud, which was a 70 per cent increase over the 2020 figure with almost 2.8 million people filing a fraud complaint.
The figures also fail to include some significant fraud cases involving issues like identity theft (which occurred to 1.4 million Americans in 2021) and other categories such as disputed information about debts, company information with disputed details about issues and the like.
Con artists dupe people by making unrealistic promises and tampering with confidential information. Additionally, the digital world has given rise to scammers and fraudsters who now use the latest technology for conducting big fraud scams.
Signs That You Are A Bank Fraud Victim
So what are the signs of bank fraud in particular? What should be looked at to determine what has happened (or may happen)? It can take a variety of forms, including –
- Denials for credit lines.
- Unfamiliar transactions from the bank.
- SMS messages indicating new logins.
- New loans and credit cards opened in your name.
- Getting calls for debts that you have no idea about.
- Your medical records indicate new and incorrect health problems.
- Even if you did not seek medical treatment, your health insurance company might notify you of limit exhaustion.
- IRS claims that the tax returns have been disbursed, even though you never got the return.
- Hacked online accounts where you cannot log in to your account.
- A change-of-address scam used by con artists to obtain new credit cards and bank statements.
If you are facing bank fraud charges or are a victim of one, you should immediately consult a federal bank fraud attorney in the United States to defend yourself.
How To Protect Yourself From Bank Fraud?
It is essential to take action as soon as you are aware of any bank fraud activity. Here’s what you should do in such cases to avoid the worst effects of bank fraud affecting your reputation, your bank account, your credit record or your bank balance.
1. Verify Your Insurance Protection
If you doubt any identity theft insurance, you must contact your insurance provider. They will help you with fraud detection and improve the account’s security and recovery process.
2. Assess The Extent Of The Damage
Scammers want you to take your time detecting warning signs of fraud. Apparently, the longer you wait to report the theft, the more they can steal. That’s why the moment you notice any signs of fraudulent activity in your financial accounts, it’s crucial to assess the situation and take action swiftly.
- Start as soon as your credit monitoring service has informed you of the fraud. Credit monitoring services monitor consumers’ spending behavior and alert them of suspected fraud.
Also, inform any other associated companies or individuals that the bank fraud can impact. This includes – business companies, banks, credit unions, etc. Your accounts can be closed in time to prevent further malicious activity by taking these actions immediately.
3. Gather Evidence For The Bank Fraud Case
Gathering evidence is one of the most important actions to take immediately after a suspected bank fraud activity. You will only be able to file a report when you have documented enough evidence to prove your claim. Here’s what you should start collecting as proof.
- Add up the amount that you’ve lost from your bank account. That may include receipts, credit or loan rejections, bank statements, and orders.
- Start with noting any details or location of the suspected fraud organization or individual.
- Recalling and tracing the number that tried to contact you for money.
4. Report The Bank Fraud Case To The FTC
The next step involves contacting the Federal Trade Commission. In order to do that, visit www.identitytheft.gov to file an Identity Theft Report with the Federal agency. You can also file a complaint with the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The bank fraud issue continues
Bank fraud investigations can be complicated and may take anywhere from a few weeks or months to resolve.
The Covid pandemic has continued to show increased incidents of bank fraud – and other fraud – and the problem is one that is not going away in a hurry.
While many companies immediately eliminate the source of fraudulent activity and reimburse the money, others may delay the process and take a lot of time. When confronted with this serious and difficult situation you need some idea of how best to handle it, using bank fraud attorneys, the relevant authorities or just having the knowledge of what you need to do to protect yourself from the worst effects of bank fraud.