What Can Someone Do with Your Bank Account Number?

In today’s world of hacking and fraudsters, it’s important to keep your personal information safe. For instance, if your wallet gets stolen thieves can easily rack up charges on your debit and credit cards, but what can someone do with your bank account number?

Using Your Bank Account Number For Online Purchases

When your bank account number has been stolen, access to your driver’s license number is the key component to making fraudulent purchases. If the criminal only has your routing number, bank account number, name and address, it will be harder for them to use it for illegal activities. The problem is that many check users have included their driver’s license number on the printed portion of the check. Major online retailers like Amazon allow you to make purchases via the internet with an ACH transaction using your banking information, name, address and driver’s license number.

Criminals Can Steal Money From Your Bank Account With Your Checking Information

If a person gets access to the original or a copy of a check that’s been deposited, then they have all the information they need to commit a forgery. With computer editing software, it’s easy to change amounts, names and dates on your checks. It’s the perfect vehicle to commit a felony, and it happens every day. Once your check is forged, it can be printed and cashed or deposited into someone else’s account. There are safety mechanisms in place embedded into checks, but it is still possible to find someone who will cash it.

Another opportunity for thieves to take your money is by depositing your check twice. The advent of mobile deposits and ATM networks has made it possible for unscrupulous people to take twice as much from you if they can. If there’s a delay in the mobile deposit, the fraudster could potentially cash the check in person at the bank and get away with it. This method is a long shot, but you should be aware of it in case it happens to you.

Why You Should Be Worried About Deposits From An Unknown Source

While the idea of randomly having money deposited into your account sounds great, it’s a problem you need to take care of right away. Nobody but you or the other named parties on your account should have the ability to deposit money. There are various reasons why someone would access your bank account in this way such as part of a money-laundering scheme or as a way to phish your other financial assets. If this happens to you, then contact the bank immediately. The tellers will have information about who or where the check was deposited and will assist you in resolving the issue.

Take These Immediate Actions If There’s Unusual Activity On Your Bank Account

You must contact your bank within 60 days of the unauthorized activity no matter what the issue is. You should also report the crime to:

Federal Trust Commission (FTC)

All three credit reporting agencies

The local police department

The Department of Justice (DOJ)

You should password protect all of your accounts and check your bank account daily. By keeping your bank account information secure, you can keep criminals from accessing your bank account.