HOW THE SCAM WORKS:
 

  1. You find an “online lender” on the web that offers you very favorable terms on a quick loan.

  2. Next they ask you for your online banking account information and password.

  3. Then they will log into your online banking account and mobile banking to deposit a fraudulent check.

  4. Now that you have received your “funds,” they request that you go to a store and buy gift cards for hundreds of dollars as payment.

  5. Victims buy the gift cards and provide the codes on the card to the fraudsters while the check they deposited bounces and leaves you on the hook.


VARIATIONS ON THIS SCAM:
 

  • Fraudsters may use personal information on a fake loan application, including your social security number to steal your identity or open accounts.

  • Fraudsters upon gaining access to your accounts and passwords could drain your account or use your account to conduct other fraudulent activities.

  • Fraudsters will send you the fake check to deposit yourself and ask for cash (or gift cards) as payment.

  • Fraudsters purchase goods from you with phony checks or engage you with a story (you won the lottery) and ask you to cash the fraudulent check and send payment back to them.

  • Fraudsters pose as an agent of the FBI, IRS, police or debt collector, threatens you and demands immediate payment through a physical money transfer service, a payment app or gift cards.


PROTECT YOURSELF:
 

  • Protect your sensitive data/information: Protect your personal, private or account info, user names or passwords online, through email or the phone.

  • Always wait for the check to clear: When receiving a check, verify with your bank that it is a valid check and wait for it to clear.

  • Don’t send gift cards: Legitimate businesses do not ask for payment in the form of gift cards.


Be sure to know who you are actually doing business with. For more information on other online scams, visit our Security Center. If you want to know more and discuss other mortgage loan options from a trusted, reputible and local bank, give us a call at 1-708-364-2525 to speak with a knowledgeable Mortgage Specialist. You can also review more about mortgage lending on our Home Finance Resource Center.