Crooks need help from real banks to rip you off.
Let's say a crooked telemarketer somehow tricks you into revealing your credit card information over the phone. Now that he's got that info, how does he get your money out of your bank and into his company?
What happens is the crooked company that calls you uses another crooked company to take the money from your bank.
Then that company funnels your money through a legitimate bank.
And, of course, that legitimate bank gets paid a little fee for helping to steal your money.
Now, closer attention is being paid to those legitimate banks.
Two of the banks involved in this type of fraudulent scheme were First Bank of Delaware and Zions Bank of Salt Lake City. First Bank of Delaware no longer exists, and Zions Bank is being sued.
From The New York Times:
In all, Zions in effect let roughly $39 million be withdrawn from hundreds of thousands of accounts from 2007 to 2009. Much of that money was ultimately transferred to bank accounts in Canada, India and the Caribbean, according to a Times review of court records. Many of the Internet merchants’ customers were older people and others on shaky financial footing. But that, too, worked in banks’ favor: the withdrawals set off a cascade of insufficient fund fees — more than $20 million in all, court records show.Authorities say that the banks knew that other companies were using them to scam customers, but the banks did nothing because the banks were making money.
It's estimated that U. S. banks are helping fraudsters steal billions every year.
Read the complete article: Banks Seen as Aid in Fraud Against Older Consumers, The New York Times>>
The above image of a hand grasping cash was taken from a First Bank of Delaware commercial.