Computer hacker silhouette of hooded man with internet login screen concept for security, phishing and hacking network account username and passwordWe’ve become aware of a couple different instances where customers have shared their online banking user names and passwords with representatives they thought were from legitimate loan companies. You might be able to guess how the situation went from bad to worse after the online banking information was exchanged.

These people were in need of funds quickly and thought searching online would give them choices. They went through the application process, provided account information including online banking user names and passwords, and the “loan company” promised to promptly deposit funds in their accounts. In some cases, the scammers asked victims to pay fees up-front. Of course, the loan proceeds were never deposited, fees were withdrawn, and the victims’ accounts were accessed and money was transferred.  The victims may have provided other personal information such as a social security number and date of birth.  Scammers could use to commit identity theft.

The Federal Trade Commission has some great tips about how to detect loan scams, but if you are in need of a loan, we recommend you shop locally with well-known financial institutions; the bank or credit union where you have your deposit accounts is a good place to start. No legitimate company will ever ask for your online banking credentials for any reason. Lenders can easily deposit loan proceeds to your account if you get your loan from the same bank where you have your deposit accounts.  You can also request loan proceeds in the form of a check.

No matter where you get your loan, never share your on-line banking username and password.