- YouTube offers a great platform for educating the public
- Anti-fraud videos are revealing scammer tricks
- Has the "Dark Web" met its match?
YouTube's reach and availability make it a great platform for education -- particularly in a society where many simply use a search engine like Google to answer any questions they may have. In the past we've pointed out YouTubers like Infamous Ghost Money , retired FBI agent Jerri Williams, and even former criminal-turned #FraudFighter Black Zack, who provide valuable information about check fraud techniques and how to avoid being scammed.
There are also YouTubers like Jack Alderman who are able to break down check fraud information and scams for the everyday people.
Check Fraud Education for Consumers
In his video, Mr. Alderman offers a concise genesis and history of the check and its rise to ubiquity, then uses news clips to give us a quick rundown of the varied approaches fraudsters take -- including some harrowing footage of postal workers being assaulted for their mailbags.
We see a fraud case study from with a happy ending, where a local news crew helps a check-theft victim -- most likely the target of check washing -- recover a $25,000 disability payment, but only after six months of effort. The victim's check was likely stolen from the mail, then "washed" with chemicals to apply false credentials to it.
In order to deposit checks like these, Mr. Alderman explains that drop accounts are established. Also known as "open ups," these accounts function for a short amount of time as "legitimate" bank accounts so they can eventually be used to deposit fake checks and quickly withdraw cash fraudulently.
Mr. Alderman spends some time talking about the unique math involved in credential stuffing via significant data breaches. Fraudsters will get access to hundreds of thousands of names and passwords via data breaches or thefts from unrelated online organizations and entities. What scammers know is that there are people who will use the same password and user name for, say, an online game, as they do for their bank account.
This is one piece of the puzzle for a fraudster. Now armed with the probable password for an account, there's a plethora of devious acts they can perform. They can simply attempt to get into a bank account and transfer the funds out to a drop account or "open up."
Or, they can go a step further and steal a person's identity. While a data breach may not contain all the information needed, all a fraudster needs to do is access the dark web where they can find the additional information needed -- perhaps from a stolen check -- and then there is no limits to what they can do.
Educating the Masses on Check Fraud
Prior to the advent of social media and platforms like YouTube, the burden of educating the masses on these types of scams fell on financial institutions and government agencies. However, now everyday citizens have the ability to shed light on these scams and help protect their fellow consumers.
FIs can take a lesson from these content creators and start investing in channels that help educate their customers. Investments in technology should not stop at back-end operations for things like check fraud detection. FIs should be putting out information important to their customers on platforms they are using.
Now, we are not advocating that FIs need to perform the latest "TikTok Trend," but they can certainly create content that is valuable to their customers.
Furthermore, this type of communication will endear the FI to their customers and help strengthen relationships. Remember, your customers are trusting you to keep their money safe.