Don’t Ever Give Out Your Bank Account Information

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I just read and blogged about how the FTC has shut down the operation of EdebitPay, a shady little operation that offers up prepaid and stored value debit cards. Lots of folks use prepaid and stored value debit cards because anyone can get them and they sometimes let you build up credit, but to get these you had to give up your bank account information, and probably all sorts of other information, as part of the application process. What happened was then EdebitPay charged people a $159.99 processing fee that they never disclosed and that’s what made the FTC come in. Of course, if they disclosed this, then the FTC would be okay with it.

Do not give you bank account information to someone you don’t know or trust. Don’t give your personal information, such as your social security number, to someone you don’t know or trust. Don’t enter it in online, don’t give it to someone who calls and claims to be your bank, don’t give it to your neighbor. Don’t give it to the random guy giving out t-shirts in return for a credit card application.

EdebitPay could’ve been an operation out of [enter non-US country here] that was just collecting information and using it to steal your identity. Then the FTC wouldn’t be able ot shut them down and you’d be screwed out of more than $160. Seriously people… don’t make it that easy for a thief to steal your money.

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Don’t Ever Give Out Your Bank Account Information”

  1. This is best least observed advice every 11 out of 10 identity victims didn’t follow.

  2. Posco says:

    Easier Said Than Done.

    “Do not give you bank account information to someone you don’t know or trust.” How do you know whether to trust someone? Apparently lots of people trusted EdebitPay. It’s easier to trust than to do research.

    “Don’t enter it in online” I’ve entered my banking information online many times: to PayPal, to Verizon, to my electric company, to my student loan servicer. The convenience outweighs the risk. Did I check that SSL was being used, that the URL was correct, etc.? Barely. Did I check with the BBB? No. Did I search for forums where others reported their experiences with these companies? No.

    “don’t give it to someone who calls and claims to be your bank” Easier said than done. Social engineering will always be with us, and people will be tricked. Even I was almost tricked into clicking a link in an email that claimed to be from an old high school friend. Yes, we grow up and get wise. But you never know when someone will be sleepy or overwhelmed or just finished an argument with spouse when they pick up the phone and really believe that it’s their bank rep calling.

    I appreciate the warning, but remember: it’s not as easy in real life. The systems we have for identification and verification and trust don’t work. Consumers need more education than just a list of don’ts.

  3. David says:

    So scary…both my grandmother and my mom has had people call them/email them for this info and each time they clicked the links in the emails. Unfortunately, too many people fall for this and companies should be more proactive in letting their customers know they will *never* ask for this info.

  4. Ernest says:

    I was thinking about going thru to try and get financing to pay for advertisment for my on line book “The Epitome of a Player.” This is a self help book that my young readers love, but on line advertisiment cost and it’s also expensive giving out complimentary copies. Why should Prosper need my bank account information before coming to an agreement for a business loan? That should come last so the borrower can check on the source making the loan. What’s your opinion (

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