The Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms: The truth vs. the scam


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Bank Account Names



An account name can say anything you want.  You can call it "The Most Trustworthy Account in the World" if you wish.  Ask your banker.  "Phony bank accounts are another ruse and, believe it or not, the government has investigated cases in which accounts were open in the names of Marilyn Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, James Bond, Mae West, and Roger Rabbit."  Jeffrey Robinson, The Laundrymen, Copyright© 1996



A bank account name that includes the words "Trust Account," "in Trust for," "Trustee's Account," "G-7", "Attorney's Trust" does not in any way mean that there really is a Trust contract or even a Trustee or attorney involved in the account.  In an investment scam, these names are merely used to imply that the account falls under the supervision of an authorized Trustee.  They are used to instill confidence, period.  Once funds are transferred to such accounts, the funds are quickly withdrawn by the swindler and invested in the nearest gambling house.

It is not the bank's responsibility to verify that an account containing the word "Trust" actually carries trust papers to go with it.   A bank's only chartered responsibility is to ensure the safekeeping of the funds in the account.  Some banks may try to monitor suspicious activity, but defining suspicious activity can be difficult and bank officers on the whole are not trained in accounting forensics.

The only safeguard an account holder has over his funds is to use only his own name or dba on an account, to limit usage to his signature only, and to disallow any Power of Attorney over the funds in his account.



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