A bank account number is very important personal finance information because it identifies the unique bank account of a person. You will need your bank account number for various purposes like direct deposit, paying bills, ordering checks, and many more. Therefore, you will need to share your bank account number with another person or someone might ask you about your bank account number. In this type of situation, is it really safe to share the bank account number with someone and what can someone do with a bank account number?
It is completely safe to share your bank account number with strangers. In fact, the bank account number is not necessarily supposed to be secret. If you want to receive money to your bank account from someone then you have to give the bank account number to that person to initialize the fund transfer. Moreover, anyone can easily find your bank account number on your bank statement, physical checks, or online. So, there is no point in hiding your bank account number.
Jump To A Section
- 1 Who Can Ask For Your Bank Account Number?
- 2 What To Do If Someone Is Using Your Account Number
- 3 How To Transfer Money Safely To Friends And Family
- 4 Things Someone Can Do With Your Bank Account And Routing Number
- 5 FAQs About Is It Safe To Give Someone Your Bank Account Number? What Can Someone Do With Your Bank Account Number?
Who Can Ask For Your Bank Account Number?
Well, sharing your bank account number might not create any problem but it’s not wiser to share your number with just anyone. Moreover, don’t share your bank account number as well as your other financial information with someone that you don’t trust. Below is a list of people who might ask you for your bank account number –
1. Your employer – to set up direct deposit
2. Tax filing service or employee – to help you file your taxes
3. Written check recipient – they won’t really ask, but the number comes on the check
4. Online payment service – PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, etc. will need the number to deposit funds into your account
These are safe people to share your bank account number with. While sharing your bank account number, you should use your judgment to decide whether it is the right person to share the account number. If you have doubt about the person who has asked your account number then ask the below questions –
1. Why do you need the bank account number?
2. Will you store the information? If the answer is yes then,
3. How will you store the information?
4. Who will have access to this information?
The above information will help you judge the person and decide whether you should share your account number.
What To Do If Someone Is Using Your Account Number
If you think that someone is using your account number without your authorization then follow the below steps –
1. First, contact the bank immediately and let the bank authority know about your problem. The bank authority will help you solve the problem.
2. Next, contact the fraud agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), US Department of Justice’s Fraud Section, and fraud departments of credit report agencies about the fraud activity.
3. Then file a police report and collect a copy of the report for further use.
4. Make sure, you keep a close eye on your bank account’s activity. Keep track of which transactions are yours and which ones are not.
How To Transfer Money Safely To Friends And Family
If you don’t want to share your bank account number but need to transfer money safely then below are some safe ways to transfer money to and from your friends –
Electronic Transfer: You can transfer money using apps like PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle. This is one of the safest ways to send money to your friends and family member. Moreover, you can also send money from iPhone to iPhone with iMessage, which is another safe way to transfer money.
Bank Transfer: You can send/transfer money using your bank account to your friends and family members. As long as the person is trusted, there is nothing to worry about sharing your bank account number.
Wire Transfer: This is a bank-to-bank money transfer process similar to ACHs. Here, the money transfer is handled by the bank instead of by clearinghouses. So, it is another safe way of transferring money.
Personal or cashier’s check: You can also transfer money using a personal or cashier’s check. Here, the bank will send a check to your friend or family member. You might have to pay a fee depending on the bank you are using.
Things Someone Can Do With Your Bank Account And Routing Number
If someone has both your bank account number as well as your routing number then below are some transactions that can be possibly done using these two sets of numbers. Let’s check them out!
1. Send Money
If someone has your bank account number and a routing number then he or she will be able to send money to your bank account. The person will be able to successfully complete the transaction if they have this information. If you see unexpected funds on your bank account then someone may have your bank account and routing number. If this happens, then contact your bank authority to trace the source of the funds. It is a possible case that someone is setting you up for illegal activities like money laundering.
2. Commit ACH Fraud
While sharing your bank account number with someone then one of the primary risks you might face is ACH fraud activity. ACH transfers and payments can be set up using the bank account number and routing number. So, if someone has your bank account number and routing number then the person can use this information to set up bill payments or transfer money out of your bank account. So, if you see any unusual activities on your bank account then immediately contact the bank authority.
3. Create Fraudulent Checks
With your bank account number and routing number, frauds can create fraudulent checks or order fake checks using the bank information. They can use these fraudulent checks to pay for a purchase or they can also cash the check. Moreover, the fraud can also digitally scan the fraudulent checks and deposit the amount into their bank account.
FAQs About Is It Safe To Give Someone Your Bank Account Number? What Can Someone Do With Your Bank Account Number?
Can Someone Withdraw Money With My Account Number?
No, it is not possible to withdraw money using only the account number. However, if someone has your account number and routing number then the fraud can withdraw money using the below methods –
1. Commit ACH Fraud
2. Create Fraudulent Checks
These two methods are serious crimes and most frauds target commercial bank accounts for fraudulent activities.
Can Someone Hack Your Bank Account With An Account Number?
No, it is not possible to hack a bank account only with the bank account number. Moreover, it is very unlikely to hack a bank account with the routing number. All the banks in the USA have strong security measures therefore it is not possible for hackers to hack the bank account just with an account number and routing number.
Can Your Bank Account Be Hacked If You Give Out Personal Information?
The answer to this question depends on what type of personal information you have shared. If you have shared your online banking login information then the chances are very high that your bank account will be hacked. However, if you have only shared your bank account number and routing number then it is not possible to hack your account.
Which Bank Details Must You Keep Secret?
There are a few bank details that you need to keep secret. For example, your online banking login details, your routing number, social security number, date of birth, home address, etc. It is safe to share your bank account number with trusted people.
Can Someone Steal My Money With My Account Number?
It is highly unlikely for someone to take money from your bank account using only your bank account number. However, if the fraud somehow knows your online banking login information, then the fraud can hack into your online bank account and steal your money.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.