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Can I use your account? Don’’t do it — It’s a scam!

Picture this: Someone approaches you at a party, or even through Twitter or Instagram, and offers you an easy way to make some cash.

Sounds interesting. Who doesn’’t like easy money? All you have to do is let the person use your account to cash a check.

Did that raise some red flags for you? I really hope it did. It will ae easy — an easy way to get yourself into a big mess.

Here’s how that will likely go: This person will use your account to deposit a check, withdraw as much as they can right away and disappear, leaving you responsible for a lot of money when the check comes back as forged or stolen or written on a closed account. And you will have to repay it.

Authorities are calling it “cardcracking” and apparently it’s the hot new scam.

One important tip is this: Don’’t share your account information.

It’s good to be skeptical

If you get a letter that says it’s from your financial institution, be skeptical. Look up the main number for your financial institution and call them and ask about the letter, ask for the person listed in the letter and inquire about the letter.

But your financial institution won’t call you and then ask you to give out identifying information like your account number or Social Security Number.

And certainly, if some random person approaches you, whether in real life or online, and asks to use your account, your answer should be a quick and resounding “no.”

There’s a proverb that says, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” That is a good guidepost for protecting your financial information.

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