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How to prevent e-transfer fraud

March 16,2020

Author: Martha Harbell

E-transfers are a great way to send and receive money – you can pay back friends, send money to family, or receive payments through email or text message. But even though e-transfers are considered secure, criminals have - of course - still found ways to use them to steal money. So learn how to protect yourself from these internet pickpockets.

What is e-transfer fraud?

When you send an e-transfer, you fill in the contact and payment info, plus a security question with an answer that only you and your contact know. Then, your contact gets a message saying there’s an e-transfer for them. Once they answer the security question, they can deposit the money directly into their account.

Here’s where it can go wrong. E-transfer fraud happens when a third party intercepts a transfer by hacking into a person’s email account and correctly guessing or finding the answer to the security question. Then, they can deposit the money themselves and it never gets to the intended recipient.

How to prevent e-transfer fraud

  • Make sure you’re sending it to the right email account.
  • Choose a security question with an answer that isn’t easy to guess. This means avoiding things like names, birthdays, hometowns – don’t use anything that someone could guess by looking at your social media profile.
  • Don’t include the security question’s answer in the e-transfer message or send it in another email to your contact.
  • Protect your email’s security too – don’t stay logged in when you walk away from your computer, or use a password that’s easy to guess.
  • Avoid using e-transfers to pay for products and services - like paying the someone to fix your car. E-transfers are like cash payments – it’s very hard to dispute or refund them.
  • Take advantage of other security features – like motusbank’s security alerts, which you can set up in Online Banking and in our Mobile App.

What to do if you suspect fraud

If you suspect someone has cracked your password or if you suspect any loss, theft or unauthorized use of your account, contact motusbank immediately at 1-833-696-6887.


Learn more about protecting yourself

How to spot phishing emails and protect yourself
5 tips for creating a strong password
Our commitment to privacy and security