What you need to know...
Recently, there’s been an uptick in an old deposit scam. In a micro-deposit scam, crooks reach out to targets with the hopes of gaining access to and "verifying" accounts through small deposits of under a dollar. Many people have already fallen for this scam. That's why we’ve compiled this handy guide on micro-deposit scams, how they play out, and what to do if you’re targeted.
What is a micro-deposit scam?
Before jumping into how the scam works, it is important to understand what a micro-deposits are and how members may legitimately receive them.
Micro-deposits are small sums of money transferred online from one financial account to another. The purpose of the deposits is to verify if the account on the receiving end is actually the account the sender intended to reach. Micro-deposits are generally less than $1 and can be as small as $0.02. They are typically deposited in pairs, within one to three business days of linking accounts, two micro-deposits should appear in your account. To learn more about micro-deposits, click here!
How do micro-deposit scams play out?
Micro-deposit scams can take one of two forms:
- Scammers open as many investment accounts as they can, linking each one to a handful of bank accounts. When micro-deposits come in, they quickly transfer the funds to another account before the brokerage company withdraws the deposits. Each micro-deposit may be small, but when multiplied by thousands, scammers can pull in a lot of money before being caught.
- Crooks will attempt to link accounts with strings of random numbers, hoping to hit a valid account. When a deposit is verified from an account, they will use additional information about the account holder to withdraw funds from this account as they please. Unfortunately, many people are uninformed about this scam and innocently verify the micro-deposits, giving the scammers free access to their accounts.
Harvester Financial takes threats very seriously. That's why on May 26, 2021, we're beefing up our security with a bigger, better fraud prevention system with Automated Fraud Alerts. The new system will allow you easily review suspicious activity and help you stop scammers in their tracks.
What should you do if you're targeted by a micro-deposit scam?
Micro-deposits are small enough to fly under the radar and you may unknowingly verify one with an uninformed click. Here’s what to do if you’ve received a micro-deposit from an unknown source:
- Do not verify the deposit. Without verification, the scammer won’t know they’ve hit an authentic account.
- Do not click on any links embedded in the verification request message or download any attachments.
- Let us know you’ve been targeted by calling 317.352.0455.
- Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov so they can do their part in catching the scammers.
- Let your friends and family know about the scam so they can be on the alert as well.
Together, we can beat the scammers at their game and protect your accounts and your money. If you feel you have become a victim of fraud or have questions or concerns about your account, call us at 317.352.0455. To learn more about fraud prevention and recovery services available to Harvester Financial members, please visit our website. Stay safe!