General Question

AshlynM's avatar

What exactly can hackers do with your bank account number?

Asked by AshlynM (9661points) December 2nd, 2011

Once they have a hold of it, what’s it good for? You can only buy things with either a credit or debit card right? Or you can write a check.

But can you charge something by using your actual bank account number?

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15 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

They can empty your account if they want.
I think it was Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear who also mocked this, and he showed his bank account number on TV, thinking that you couldn’t do anything with the number alone.
Some time later, he lost money from his account.

Don’t give your bank account number to people you do not trust completely.

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cazzie's avatar

It depends on what country you live in, but yes, they can forge documents and transfer funds out of your account, as an international transfer. They only have to look up the IBAN number of your bank, forge some documents and whamo, they got your money.

Just goes to show what a clown Clarkson is. Just the worst court jester ever.

ragingloli's avatar

Clarkson was lucky though. He was just hit with a monthly 500 pund transfer to a diabetes charity.

wundayatta's avatar

You’d have to have a way to launder the money. I.e., render it untraceable. But you could do a wire transfer to another account, which presumably is opened by an untraceable person. You’d need a fake social security number to do that, I think.

cazzie's avatar

@wundayatta they transfer it OUT of the country. no social security number needed there. these scams are global. They can route them through the UK and some other countries so that your bank doesn’t get bells and red flags ringing right away, and they can end up almost anywhere there is a Western Union office.

@ragingloli classy. very nice ‘bazinga’.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Once they have it, and many others, they can sell it to others who would do things with it that will leave you broke or in a lot of hot water.

john65pennington's avatar

They can have a Merry, Merry Christmas with your cash.

WestRiverrat's avatar

If they really wanted to they could steal your identity.

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