What to Do If Your Banking Information is Compromised

Hackers work behind the scenes to get their hands on anything within their reach. They target email servers, employers, phones, apps, and, in the largest cases, financial institutions. Cyber hackers aren’t just some dark web danger – their work threatens each and every one of us if we’re not careful.

It can be easy to get a notification that an account on an app you don’t use anymore has been compromised and dismiss it. After all, you might assume that information won’t get them anywhere and none of your vital information (such as social security numbers, addresses, and bank account numbers) is at risk. While that’s a dangerous mindset that could put you at risk, very few hacks will put you at more immediate risk than when your bank account gets hacked. Here’s what you should do in that case.

Contact your bank

Bank accounts and financial institutions are often the holy grail for hackers because if they can get into people’s bank accounts they can directly use funds to bolster their operations and their own lives. When you are notified by your bank that your banking information has been compromised, it’s important to act quickly.

You should immediately work with your bank to find out what the next steps are (it’s likely your bank will have a fraud department to work with). Some banks will provide information about what you should do next right in the first point of contact. You shouldn’t assume what the next steps are because hackers are often a step ahead of you and hope that you log in on a personal computer, locking you in for the next step of their heist. When safe, you should change all login information and PINs to the account, but you should not do this until your bank says it’s safe to do so.

Freeze or cancel your accounts

If you’re able to safely access your account, you should review all recent activities to ensure there are no fraudulent activities on your account. Take note of any suspicious activity and report it to your bank. You should ask that your account be frozen and all upcoming transactions are declined until you’re in the clear.

It’s possible the damage is already done and freezing your account will not get you anywhere. If you feel it’s unsafe to continue banking with this institution or with this account, you should consider canceling your account entirely. This is essentially “cutting the head off the snake.” Continuing to use the account comes with the risk that hackers are still watching and accessing your account, waiting for the right time to take action.

Speak with the police

If your bank isn’t able to work out the issue and you’re facing a financial loss, you should contact the police. As long as your bank is aware of the situation, it’s likely the proper authorities are already involved. However, if you find suspicious activity and haven’t heard from your bank then the sooner you get the police involved the better your chances of recovery will be.

Check your credit report

The process of working with your bank and police can be exhausting. You may feel demoralized and ready to just move on when your account is either canceled or secured, but your credit report may have suffered long-term damage.

You should check your FULL credit report instead of just opting for free services. This will allow you to review all relevant information and see how the hack may have impacted your credit score. If your score is suffering because of a cyber heist that isn’t your fault, you can file a claim to have the issue removed from your report.

Work with an attorney

Sometimes entire fortunes are ripped away by cyber heists and hackers who just want to cut financial corners. If you’ve lost a large sum of money or may have trouble moving forward after a hack, contact Stolen Asset Recovery Network. Our team of attorneys around the world has the expertise and experience to get your money back.

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STARNet, which is short for Stolen Asset Recovery Network, is a global alliance of independent law firms created to provide financial institutions and governments with multi-disciplinary services across countries and jurisdictions for locating, freezing, and ultimately recovering stolen assets related to cyber heists, fraud or corruption.

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