Advances in digital technology are making it more difficult for scammers to steal money, so many perpetrators are returning to more traditional diversion tactics. Recognizing the signs and knowing how to respond can help you protect your finances.
Automated teller machines (ATMs) and paper checks are so ubiquitous and ingrained in our banking routines that, often, we use them without a second thought. That’s one reason fraudsters are increasingly finding them useful in stealing funds. Reports of check fraud filed by banks last year nearly doubled to a whopping 680,000, according to a recent alert from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. And instances of ATM schemes continue to crop up. “These were originally isolated to certain geographic regions,” says John Mansfield, vice president of fraud policy and prevention at Citi. “But now ATM distraction schemes have begun to spread across the U.S. and internationally.”
Learning what these ploys look like is key to keeping your money safe, which is why we’ve broken down the basics of each. Read on for details, plus top tips to help you steer clear of them.