Exposing the practice of bank account trading
The practice of bank account trading is on the rise in Indonesia, haunting the local banking sector. This modus operandi has spread and become a frightening menace.
This practice typically includes the theft of identities, the fraudulent forging of identity cards, and even the unwitting participation of legitimate account holders. A recent case in Indonesia highlighted this issue when a significant bank heist, totaling up to 5.1 billion rupiah, occurred through the creation of multiple fake accounts using stolen identities.
How the practice of bank account trading occurs
The practice of bank account trading typically commences with identity theft, accomplished either through illegal means or fraudulent activities. During the bank account creation process, the perpetrators replace the photo on the stolen ID card and deceive bank officials into opening an account in the victim’s name.
With such an account, these individuals can harbor the proceeds of their unlawful activities without easy detection by the authorities. This modus operandi is frequently employed by money laundering syndicates, online gambling rings, illegal trading operations, and various other criminal activities.
According to a source, a significant portion of the bank accounts available for purchase are established using stolen personal data. However, there are also instances where account holders themselves opt to sell their accounts after being enticed by financial compensation, often without realizing that they are participating in an illegal activity
Accounts that have been created with stolen data are then sold freely through social media and online trading platforms. The buyers will receive an ATM card and a savings book in the name of the account they purchase.
Bank’s mitigation efforts
The practice of bank account trading not only harms the account holders but also damages the reputation of the banks issuing these accounts.
As a result, banks have implemented various policies and procedures to prevent such fraud. One of these procedures is known as Know Your Customer (KYC).
KYC procedures involve rigorous checks on potential customers and the monitoring of customer transactions. Banks perform identification and verification of the customer’s identity, including the ID card number, place and date of birth, and residential address.
After an account is active, banks randomly monitor customer transactions to detect suspicious patterns or unusual activities, such as a high number of large transactions occurring simultaneously in one account.
If the bank detects any suspicious activity, they will promptly initiate an investigation into the account, and if necessary, they may even block it. These measures are implemented with the objective of upholding the integrity of the banking system and safeguarding customers against detrimental account-related activities.
In addition to these internal efforts, it is important to remember that the public plays a crucial role in helping to expose and report such illegal actions. This includes reporting to the police, financial authorities, and consumer protection agencies, and even using online reporting platforms like the Canary Whistleblowing System, which allows the public to report illegal actions anonymously.
Through the proactive involvement of the community, we can collectively fortify the security and integrity of the financial sector, leaving no room for compromise or misconduct.