Scammers are using a multi-pronged approach involving social engineering and legitimate mobile banking apps to leave victims holding the bag when it comes to pilfering funds.
It works like this: someone approaches the victim-to-be via social media or other contact vector, and offers to pay several hundred dollars or provide loans or other services.
What is so difficult in this situation the victims usually are already in desperate financial needs and can be very vulnerable because of those needs. It turns out the scammers convince the customer to provide the mobile app information and account information to deposit fake checks into the account. However, checks take a few days to clear, during which time the money still shows up in the balance. The scammers convince the customer to withdraw the funds to cover fees the following business day and send the funds to another individual via Western Union. In this process the customer becomes the victim and is responsible to the bank for any funds withdrawn.
Scammers are using many avenues to target their future victims. For example: our most current victims thought they were getting funds from Cash Net. Com or filing their taxes and receiving the funds via mobile banking.
To avoid check scams, consumers should avoid these types of offers altogether. And as a best practice, they should always call to make sure deposited checks are cleared before taking money out, and should monitor their accounts on an ongoing basis. Even better, those selling goods should accept PayPal or payment cards as a safer practice.