Beware of the “Can I Borrow Your Empty Bank Account?” Scam

Reading Time: 3 minutes
  • There’s a new scam making its way to the crypto world and it’s after your bank account
  • This scam relies on you having an empty bank account that they can borrow
  • While this scam feels like you lose nothing, you’ll lose a whole lot once it comes to a close with the feds at your door

There are plenty of scams out there that you need to beware of, but there is a scam that’s fairly new to the crypto world doing the rounds at the moment. This scam has been going around the traditional finance world for many years and is a sort of twist on the Nigerian Prince scam that we’re all familiar with.

So, prepare yourself for strange questions from strangers. We’re going to teach you how to spot this scam and how to keep yourself safe!

What Happens?

To kick off this scam, someone will reach out to you and ask if you have an empty bank account that they could borrow. They claim they simply need to send some funds to it because their current bank doesn’t allow transactions from a certain exchange or that your country has better rates for Bitcoin transactions.

On the face of it, it might not seem so bad. Helping someone out because of government regulations, right? Well, here’s what happens if you say yes. The person will send over the money from the exchange to your bank account and will then send it on to themselves, or they’ll ask you to do this.

So far, so good right? You’d be correct for believing so, but what has happened is that a scammer has just used your bank account to launder his or her money. Whether it was stolen Bitcoin or Bitcoin obtained from illegal activities, the money now runs through your account. When the feds come calling for the money because they’ve followed the trail to your address, your account will suddenly head into the negative region and there’s also a good chance the feds will smash through your door.

How’s That a Scam?

A lot of people still believe that you must be coaxed into sending your money or Bitcoin to someone else in order to be scammed. However, in this case, the scammer sends you the money and then sends it on to himself. The scam is that you’re the poor person that’s been used as a laundromat to wash his dirty cash. Chances are he’ll head down to an ATM and pull out the money with a bank card that’s also not his own.

You’ll be lumped with all the legal muck and the bank to deal with. Chances are you won’t see that money back from the bank, and you’ll be whatever they laundered through your account out of pocket.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Honestly, the only way you can get caught out here is if you agree to help. They can’t do anything without your details, so as long as you don’t go giving strangers from the internet your bank details, you’ll be safe from this type of scam. Heck, if you ignore all messages from people you don’t know then you’ll never get scammed.

The best protection against scammers is to use common sense and be vigilant. If somehow a scammer gets hold of your bank account information and sends money there, then asks you to send it back to them, do not do it. Call up the bank and explain that it’s not your money, you didn’t ask for it and you don’t know where it came from. They’ll trace it back and deal with the mess. You don’t want to get dragged into what mess could unfold!