In the past few years, fake online banking sites have exponentially increased. Scammers have been advertising on search engines to attract potential victims — who believe they are getting high-yield certificates of deposit (CDs).
Marketed as an ultra-accessible way to handle your money, online-only banking has been booming in popularity. These online companies, both large and small, have been launching savings accounts and CDs without having any local branches. It’s a measure to both cut costs and offer better accessibility to customers. As a result, online-only banks tend to provide much higher CD rates.
Don’t Trust, Verify
Unfortunately, the online banking boom has likewise created a marked increase in online banking scams. With many popping up in 2019 alone, they advertise themselves through Google AdWords and other search engine ads.
When in doubt, you can always verify whether an online bank is legitimate by using the FDIC’s BankFind tool.
Despite the scammers, online banking has many benefits and consumers shouldn’t be deterred completely from using them. However, the threat of fraudsters in this new world of online banking brings up an important question: why don’t we just be our own banks?
Be Your Own Bank
20 or 30 years ago, ‘being your own bank’ might have meant stuffing cash under the mattress. Today, you can have your own cryptocurrency wallet and store your assets securely — without the need for any third-party. This takes out the ‘trust’ component that usually comes with banking. It also eliminates the threat of scammers completely because only you have access to your funds.
However, one of the attractions of banking is the yearly interest it offers. High-yield CDs are still one of the main reasons online banking is booming right now. This same concept, though, will eventually be just as common in the cryptocurrency world. For example, you will soon be able to stake your ether for yearly returns similar to a CD. Some cryptocurrencies, like NEO, already offer daily payouts in Gas — depending on how much NEO you have in your wallet.
With cryptocurrency wallets and staking offering yearly returns and the security of being your own bank, it seems that the logical solution to fraudulent online banking is cryptocurrency adoption.
Do you believe cryptocurrencies are the best means of protecting yourself against online banking scams? Is it smart to always be your own bank? Let us know your thoughts below.