Could Automated Clearing House Clean You Out?
Local Sheriff Station encourages consumers and businesses to guard against fraud.
The SCV Sheriff's Station is encouraging businesses and consumers to be on the lookout for fraudulent Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions. The ACH is a vast network which more than 20,000 financial institutions use to streamline electronic fund transfers. However, it can also be manipulated for deleterious ends if unscrupulous characters get hold of the account and routing numbers of a person or business. This information can be used to initiate undue payments electronically or by phone.
Fraudulent ACH transactions may resemble direct deposited payroll or Social Security payments and offenses can often go unnoticed if victims do not review their accounts carefully and frequently. Some local businesses have already fallen victim to attacks of this kind.
Concerned individuals and institutions have several tools available to prevent and reverse automated theft of this kind. The rules of the ACH dictate that if the fraud is reported in time, the originating bank must reimburse the victim and the victim's bank must then try to recover the loss. Individuals have 60 days to report suspicious activity, while corporations must do so within 2 days.
However, as always, the proverbial ounce of protection can make all the difference. By contacting your bank, you can set your account up with different types of blocks or filters for ACH transactions depending on your specific needs. You can block all ACH transactions, accept them only from specified businesses, or keep them on hold until you can review them and decide which to accept.
For the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department's Station's recommended steps to guard against this threat, click here.