What is Identity Theft?
You have car insurance, health insurance, you even have renters’ insurance. But there’s one important insurance that a lot of people forget about: identify and credit insurance. Identity theft is when someone steals your personal information and uses it without your permission. One of the things they can do with your identity is to obtain access to your bank account.
Someone with access to your bank account and attempt a number of illegal schemes, most of which involve them taking your money. This can be scary to discover, but luckily you can get back the stolen money and prevent your bank account from future hacks if you follow the right procedure.
This kind of identity theft is also covered by Soft Pull Credit’s $1M Credit Insurance. We will help you find out if identity fraud occurred and guide you through the restoration processes that follow. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do if you suspect this has happened to you.
How To Tell if Your Bank Account Was Hacked
It’s important to keep a close eye on your bank account, checking recent statements to make sure nothing seems out of the ordinary. A lot of times, you’ll be notified of fraud by your bank if they suspect illegal activity. But you want to make sure you’re also being observant in case they miss something. Here are some things to look for:
Strange purchases. If you see any purchases you don’t remember making, it’s very likely that a hacker has taken ahold of your account. If you’re unsure if the purchase is legitimate, take a closer look at the details, including the location of the transaction.
Unfamiliar transactions. While you may be on the lookout for large purchases, like televisions and jewelry, you should also look for small transactions. A lot of times, a hacker will make a small purchase to see if your card works before they make a bigger one.
Blocked login. You will get potentially locked out of your online banking account if a login was attempted from a suspicious location or if the password was entered incorrectly too many times in a row. If you’re locked out of your account, call the bank to find out what’s going on.
Missed call from your bank. If you see a call or a voicemail from your bank, they may be trying to reach out to you about suspicious activity. Don’t provide any bank account information to the caller, since it’s possible they aren’t who they say they are.
Denied card. If you go to make a purchase and your card is denied, it’s possible that your account was frozen by your bank when they saw suspicious activity on your account. Call your bank to find out what’s going on, since it’s possible your account was compromised.
Closed or emptied account. This isn’t as common as a purchase, but there have been cases where a hacker empties out an entire bank account or closes it completely.
Types of Bank Account Hacking and Fraud
There’s, unfortunately, a lot of ways a hacker can get ahold of your bank account. This ranges from them simply guessing an obvious password to a security breach at your bank leading to leaks of account information. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
Fraudulent texts and phone calls. You may get phone calls or emails claiming to be your bank. They will find an excuse in order to get you to give up your bank account information. Never give out personal information over the phone or by email.
Phishing links. Nearly one-third of all data breaches in 2018 were a result of phishing. Phishing links can look legitimate, but if you look closely enough at the email or fake website asking for your information, you’ll notice missing information or incorrect punctuation and grammar. If you’re not sure if a link asking for your bank information is real, call your bank.
Malware. This is a virus that can be picked up from sketchy websites. It infects your computer, gathering important information and passwords.
Public Wi-Fi. If you’re using a public space to use your computer, like a coffee joint or mall, don’t log into your bank account or any other important website with access to sensitive information. Hackers often use wi-fi to intercept information, gaining access to your account.
Social engineering. While not as common, some hackers will even contact your bank pretending to be you. To ensure hackers are less convincing, don’t ever give out personal information that would help them impersonate you.
Card scanners. These devices are placed over existing card scanners to take a picture of your card and record your pin. When using an ATM or other device, wiggle the card socket a little to check for a fraudulent card scanner atop the legitimate one.
What to Do if Your Bank Account was Hacked
Does any of the above information sound familiar? If you suspect that your account has been hacked, there are a few key steps you must take in order to get your stolen money back and get them out of your account.
View and Verify Account Activity
Go through your bank account activity and keep track of all the fraudulent charges.
Contact Your Bank
Armed with the transactions you believe to be fraudulent, contact your bank to report the fraud. Your bank will most likely be able to solve the issue and might even return funds to your account. If you want to guarantee that you get the stolen money back no matter what the circumstances, you’ll need to have credit and identity theft insurance beforehand.
While speaking with your bank, ask them to freeze your account. Their customer service department should be able to put a hold on your account, not allowing future transactions to go through until further notice.
Once you have taken back control of your account, you should change your bank account pin and password to ensure the hacker no longer has access to your money. You might even want to change a few other passwords, like for your email.
Look Over Credit History
You should also make sure the hacker hasn’t tried to open a credit card in your name. Speak with your bank to find out if they can do a credit history check for free under these circumstances.
File a Police Report
While you may not know too much about the person who hacked your account, if there are multiple people reporting these bank account hacking schemes, it could help pinpoint how it’s happening and who is behind them all.
Protect Your Bank Account from Future Hacks
The last thing you want after clearing all this up is having someone hack your bank account again. It’s important to make sure you’re not only prepared for a future hack, but have made it nearly impossible for someone to get away with it even if they tried.
Stay Safe Online
You want to make sure you’re staying aware of your online activity. Check for site security while browsing, looking over their privacy and security terms. Avoid entering private information on a website, even if it does seem legit.
You should also study emails you get that ask you to click on any sort of link or document. More often than not, these are scams. Remember to always run antivirus and anti-malware software, too.
Use Strong Passwords
Since weak or repetitive passwords allow hackers to get easy access to your accounts, you might want to go through all of your passwords and strengthen them wherever necessary.
Make sure your passwords are varied. Your passwords should also have numbers and characters, to make it a bit more difficult to guess. You also want to have strong security questions that have unexpected answers. Set up two-factor authentication when possible.
Don’t give out passwords to anyone, especially not over email, texting apps or social media.
Sign Up for Credit Insurance
About 1 in 3 Americans are victims of credit fraud and identity theft. If this, unfortunately, happens to you, you want to be covered. Soft Pull Credit offers a variety of credit protection plans, which offer credit monitoring, bank account monitoring, and dark web monitoring, among other services that ensure the hacker is caught before any real damage is done. Soft Pull Credit will also help you file a police report and get back all stolen funds.
Always report suspicious activity and contact your bank if you see anything suspicious on your account. This includes transactions, which you should always double-check. Look at your statements for any fraudulent activity. Also, keep an eye on your credit history and sign up for text alerts that will alert you if something suspicious takes place.
When you see a lot of alarming purchases on your bank account that can really be a scary moment. But there’s no need to panic, especially if you have credit insurance. Following the right steps will ensure you get the funds back and then protect your account from future problems. If you’re looking for extra protection for you and your family, contact Soft Pull Credit today.