An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

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WL2034
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by WL2034 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:48 am
Point wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:02 am
PayPal and other methods are best for peer to peer transfers.
PayPal charges significant fees.
Only if you want safeguards against fraud (when you don't know/trust the recipient of funds) such as you are buying something on Ebay or paying a business for a service. For transfers to friends/acquaintances, there is no fee if using a bank account (fees for CC).

Venmo also free. And Zelle is free. Not sure if there are limits on transfer amounts for these services that might make them unsuitable for OP, but otherwise would recommend this as easier.

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Pajamas
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by Pajamas » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:15 pm

WL2034 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm

Only if you want safeguards against fraud (when you don't know/trust the recipient of funds) such as you are buying something on Ebay or paying a business for a service. For transfers to friends/acquaintances, there is no fee if using a bank account (fees for CC).

Venmo also free. And Zelle is free. Not sure if there are limits on transfer amounts for these services that might make them unsuitable for OP, but otherwise would recommend this as easier.
That's good to know but I avoid PayPal unless there is no other option because of their arbitrariness and poor customer service.

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BarleywineAndBob
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by BarleywineAndBob » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:16 pm

Maybe he doesn't trust you with his account number. :P
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buccimane
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by buccimane » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:19 pm

rob65 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:33 pm
My kids use something called Venmo to send money to friends.
+1 for Venmo. Use it nearly everyday. There is no minimum, and I haven't reached the maximum if there is one. You can instantly send $ to a friend, and they can transfer it out of the Venmo account to their linked Bank Account with the push of a button (2-3 business days). Also, no fees :sharebeer
Last edited by buccimane on Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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WL2034
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by WL2034 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:23 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:15 pm
WL2034 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm

Only if you want safeguards against fraud (when you don't know/trust the recipient of funds) such as you are buying something on Ebay or paying a business for a service. For transfers to friends/acquaintances, there is no fee if using a bank account (fees for CC).

Venmo also free. And Zelle is free. Not sure if there are limits on transfer amounts for these services that might make them unsuitable for OP, but otherwise would recommend this as easier.
That's good to know but I avoid PayPal unless there is no other option because of their arbitrariness and poor customer service.
I'm not an Ebay shopper, so I don't know much about the customer service. I just use it for paying babysitters, friends, etc. Many more people (especially younger folks) seem to be using Venmo these days, so I'm using that a lot more to pay babysitters. Venmo is owned by PayPal, inc. I'm not sure if it was a successful app that was then purchased by PayPal, or if it was developed by PayPal. But at this point, they seem to be one and the same.

I suppose that leaves PayPal vs. Zelle (newer, backed by banks) as the mobile money transfer apps.

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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by hicabob » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:34 pm

WL2034 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:48 am
Point wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:02 am
PayPal and other methods are best for peer to peer transfers.
PayPal charges significant fees.
Only if you want safeguards against fraud (when you don't know/trust the recipient of funds) such as you are buying something on Ebay or paying a business for a service. For transfers to friends/acquaintances, there is no fee if using a bank account (fees for CC).

Venmo also free. And Zelle is free. Not sure if there are limits on transfer amounts for these services that might make them unsuitable for OP, but otherwise would recommend this as easier.

Zelle had a $2000 limit when I used it a month or so ago. Limit might be bank dependent?

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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by hicabob » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:36 pm

hicabob wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:34 pm
WL2034 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:09 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:48 am
Point wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:02 am
PayPal and other methods are best for peer to peer transfers.
PayPal charges significant fees.
Only if you want safeguards against fraud (when you don't know/trust the recipient of funds) such as you are buying something on Ebay or paying a business for a service. For transfers to friends/acquaintances, there is no fee if using a bank account (fees for CC).

Venmo also free. And Zelle is free. Not sure if there are limits on transfer amounts for these services that might make them unsuitable for OP, but otherwise would recommend this as easier.

Zelle had a $2500 limit when I used it a month or so ago. Limit might be bank dependent?

edit ....
"Hello and thank you for your inquiry concerning the Transfer limits for the Zelle service. The transfer limits are as follow: Daily minimum: $1-$1,000 (rolling 24 hours) - up to three transactions per day. Weekly: $2,500 (aggregate) - up to 21 transactions per week.Jul 14, 2017"

DetroitRick
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by DetroitRick » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:38 pm

Safe as anything else in this electronic world - it would not bother me or set off any alarms. As others have said, every human or business that has ever received your paper check potentially has this info. Routing numbers are publicly available info (assuming they know who you bank with). I don't see any great incremental risk.

As an alternative, 3rd party systems are getting more popular nowadays (random example: Chase QuickPay). But ACH or wire are still more popular I believe. And wire is typically faster but more expensive, so I can see his preference for ACH in this case. Doing an ACH transfer is quick, cheap and easy. I'd rather use a 3rd party system myself, but would willingly do either.

Presumably you are worried about subsequent fraud against your account. A quick conversation with your bank might minimize your concern (or, for a fun evening, you can read Regulation E) But for individuals (who have more time to report suspected ach fraud than business accounts), even ACH fraud is mainly a time and inconvenience issue - assuming you detect and report it. But it's a good practice to monitor bank accounts anyway.

I had to make a payment to an individual a few weeks ago and they declined ACH or QuickPay in favor of a cashier's check. It was after-hours and I had to bite my tongue about the ease of counterfeiting. But, whatever.

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whodidntante
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by whodidntante » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:47 pm

There are several free P2P money transfer services that are more secure than ACH in that you do not have to give your account number and requests to pull funds will be held until you approve it. Venmo, Zelle, Google Wallet.

Unauthorized ACH direct debits can be reversed if you report them quickly. The onus is on the initiator to confirm it is a valid transfer. But you might have some pretty bad issues until your bank puts thing right. How does a missed mortgage payment and a late fee on every credit card you use sound?

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neurosphere
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by neurosphere » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:54 pm

BarleywineAndBob wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:16 pm
Maybe he doesn't trust you with his account number. :P
Touche! :P

Yes, I suspect this was, in part, one of his reasons, a general tendency to minimize such such risks. Not from me, but from things like checks getting lost/stolen.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:58 pm

rob65 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:33 pm
My kids use something called Venmo to send money to friends.
This seems to be the app used in some college-circuits as well. They all go out to eat (or order take out using some other App) - someone puts it on their CC - then they settle up using Venmo. I don't know how safe it is.

wrongfunds
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:16 pm

What you write seems more to do with Vanguard making sure my account information is correct. I'm wondering how my bank allows a transfer TO Vanguard without my ever giving explicit permission to the bank to do so. And by extension, couldn't anyone who knows the routing and account numbers initiate a transfer to them?
This shows up often on this forum. My understanding after reading some knowledgeable poster is that only the fear of landing in federal prison prevents somebody from pulling the money out from an account whose routing information is known.

For example, if you wanted to pay your kid's Harvard tuition, just remember the information from Neurosphere's check that you had received in the past. If you enter that information, the money will be taken from Neurosphere's account. It is like getting a free ride to Harvard for your kid! Once investigation is completed, your will become guest of the Uncle Sam for few years :-)

Many many entities such as universities, local town offices, mutual funds,utilities etc allow you to enter accounting routing details on their system which will PULL the money from your bank account for the payment. Absolutely nothing in the system safe-guards against intentional mischief.

The bottom line:- There are ZERO technical hurdles in pulling the money out of your account once the numbers are known.

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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by BW1985 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:35 pm

sambb wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:46 pm
The info is already on a check.. dont understand how this is risky compared to writing a check.
It isn't, as long as you don't confirm trial deposits linking your account to someone else's. If you do that then they can 'pull' money from your account, a reverse check in a sense.
"Squirrels figured out how to save eons ago. They buried acorns. Some, they dug up, for food. Others, they let to sprout, in new oak trees. We could learn from squirrels." -john94549

LynnC
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by LynnC » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:48 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:40 pm
Zelle is payment transfer system supported by most of the big banks. I use them for my renters and to pay my daycare. No issues with either.

https://www.zellepay.com/get-started
Thanks, Mervin! I learned something new today. I thought Venmo was the only way to do this. I see Zelle allows my bank and my credit union access to do business.

Thank you,
LynnC

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flamesabers
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by flamesabers » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:54 pm

neurosphere wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:54 pm
BarleywineAndBob wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:16 pm
Maybe he doesn't trust you with his account number. :P
Touche! :P

Yes, I suspect this was, in part, one of his reasons, a general tendency to minimize such such risks. Not from me, but from things like checks getting lost/stolen.
If he doesn't trust you with his account number, it doesn't sound fair for him to expect you to trust him with your account number. :?
Last edited by flamesabers on Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aristotelian
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by aristotelian » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:56 pm

student wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:04 pm
I don't understand why he does not want to send you a check. The question is are you willing to send him a check if you owe him money. If the answer is yes, then there is no issue as all the information will be on the check.
Some people like the instantaneous nature of digital transactions. But in that case, a service like Paypal would seem to be a better solution.

jpdion
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by jpdion » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:58 pm

There are alternatives to paper checks and ACH/EFT. VENMO, PAYPAL are two such ways to send/receive money between individuals without letting them into your bank accounts. Talk to your banker to see if they have a similar service, as some banks do have such capabilities.

mervinj7
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by mervinj7 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:01 pm

LynnC wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:48 pm
mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:40 pm
Zelle is payment transfer system supported by most of the big banks. I use them for my renters and to pay my daycare. No issues with either.

https://www.zellepay.com/get-started
Thanks, Mervin! I learned something new today. I thought Venmo was the only way to do this. I see Zelle allows my bank and my credit union access to do business.

Thank you,
LynnC
No problem. Unfortunately, some of the smaller credit unions, like SF Fire CU, are still not supported but I can still use Zelle with my online CapitalOne 360 Checking account.

arsenalfan
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by arsenalfan » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:52 pm

susze wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:50 am
arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:26 pm
I wouldn't worry.

I give all my renters my routing and checking account number on the lease - they have deposited this way for years. Many european renters were surprised we still use checks.

With the routing and checking account numbers you can only push funds to them, they cannot pull funds from the account.

FYI now there is zelle - kind of like venmo/paypal, but backed by the major banks. Basically lets you push money to anyone for free via their mobile number or email account (they have to link their bank account). Just started using it - did a $1 test transaction and refunded it. FWIW many major banks do this too to verify they have the correct account (deposit test amounts, and have you verify the amount - i.e. $0.12 and $0.33).
I thought you could pull funds. Isnt the info on the check the same exact info you put in for automatic bill pay whether its credit card payment or car payments etc? Maybe Name has to match but that maybe easy even if its a social security # match they could find it easy in county or city records if determined.

Also my understanding is that you can reverse the pull funds within 60 days of when they take it but thats in practice not sure how it really works but it is a rule.
Nope you cannot pull funds

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knpstr
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by knpstr » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:57 pm

Yes this is "safe" insofar even if a paper check was sent the same info was given.

If someone wants to steal from you, this information could be used against you, in the same way this very info can be given to utility companies to have them pull funds. However, it would not be hard to trace what happened (what account it went to) and the culprit be imprisoned.

If you are really worried about this, just keep some small nominal amount say, $100 in the account. When a payment is made to your account, transfer it to your savings or other checking account.
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susze
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by susze » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:32 pm

arsenalfan wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:52 pm
susze wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:50 am
arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:26 pm
I wouldn't worry.

I give all my renters my routing and checking account number on the lease - they have deposited this way for years. Many european renters were surprised we still use checks.

With the routing and checking account numbers you can only push funds to them, they cannot pull funds from the account.

FYI now there is zelle - kind of like venmo/paypal, but backed by the major banks. Basically lets you push money to anyone for free via their mobile number or email account (they have to link their bank account). Just started using it - did a $1 test transaction and refunded it. FWIW many major banks do this too to verify they have the correct account (deposit test amounts, and have you verify the amount - i.e. $0.12 and $0.33).
I thought you could pull funds. Isnt the info on the check the same exact info you put in for automatic bill pay whether its credit card payment or car payments etc? Maybe Name has to match but that maybe easy even if its a social security # match they could find it easy in county or city records if determined.

Also my understanding is that you can reverse the pull funds within 60 days of when they take it but thats in practice not sure how it really works but it is a rule.
Nope you cannot pull funds
The rest of the thread said yes and if you google this exact topic it is yes as well - you can pull funds with info on check. However there are many reasons why someone wouldnt do that. Such as a major felony charge and guaranteed time and its easily traceable.

If you ever enter in bill pay online it asks for the info on your check. Whats to stop you from using someone elses check info that they wrote you? So technically you are correct maybe the only way is thru a bill pay system but they could get a credit card get a cash advance or charge all sorts of crazy items.

Sorry maybe I am confused are you referring to something else like third party ie venmo, paypal etc? If so yes those I dont think you can take from.

need403bhelp
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by need403bhelp » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:46 pm

susze wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:28 am
mptfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:28 pm
AAA wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:41 pm
I've always wondered about these ACH transfers. When I link my bank account to an entity like Vanguard, Vanguard asks for the bank routing and account numbers. Once set up, I funds can be sent in either direction. But I never explicitly gave my bank the okay to release funds to Vanguard. Can anyone who knows the two numbers (on every check we write) initiate an outgoing ACH transfer from a bank account?
No. The "once set up" part of what you wrote is the most important part...Vanguard uses security measures to ensure that the bank account you set up is actually yours, the most obvious of which is to make test deposits to your account and then ask you to verify the amounts of the test deposits. Also, there is a waiting period during which you cannot transfer money into a newly set up bank account, and during that waiting period, Vanguard sends emails and letters (at least one of each I think) to you to confirm that you added the new account. Presumably if you did not do it, you would be alerted and notify Vanguard.
Isnt that a Vanguard thing where they have extra security not sure every financial institution does this. Altho they should to some degree and it should be a regulation
The one area where verification with test deposits is consistently NOT done is adding a bank account for autopay on credit cards.

Presumably, if an identity thief can open a credit card in your name, they can use the card to buy things and then have it autopay from your bank account. Then again, they already paid for the stuff, so not sure why they would take the extra step to set up a payment method for the credit card balance as well.

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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:14 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (ACH transfer).

The wiki has some background info: Transferring funds
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arsenalfan
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by arsenalfan » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:50 am

susze wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:32 pm
arsenalfan wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:52 pm
susze wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:50 am
arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:26 pm
I wouldn't worry.

I give all my renters my routing and checking account number on the lease - they have deposited this way for years. Many european renters were surprised we still use checks.

With the routing and checking account numbers you can only push funds to them, they cannot pull funds from the account.

FYI now there is zelle - kind of like venmo/paypal, but backed by the major banks. Basically lets you push money to anyone for free via their mobile number or email account (they have to link their bank account). Just started using it - did a $1 test transaction and refunded it. FWIW many major banks do this too to verify they have the correct account (deposit test amounts, and have you verify the amount - i.e. $0.12 and $0.33).
I thought you could pull funds. Isnt the info on the check the same exact info you put in for automatic bill pay whether its credit card payment or car payments etc? Maybe Name has to match but that maybe easy even if its a social security # match they could find it easy in county or city records if determined.

Also my understanding is that you can reverse the pull funds within 60 days of when they take it but thats in practice not sure how it really works but it is a rule.
Nope you cannot pull funds
The rest of the thread said yes and if you google this exact topic it is yes as well - you can pull funds with info on check. However there are many reasons why someone wouldnt do that. Such as a major felony charge and guaranteed time and its easily traceable.

If you ever enter in bill pay online it asks for the info on your check. Whats to stop you from using someone elses check info that they wrote you? So technically you are correct maybe the only way is thru a bill pay system but they could get a credit card get a cash advance or charge all sorts of crazy items.

Sorry maybe I am confused are you referring to something else like third party ie venmo, paypal etc? If so yes those I dont think you can take from.

Pretty easy to protect yourself. At least per my bank, who echoed this statement. They said no one has successfully pulled funds in unauthorized manner without getting caught - totally tracable and covered by fraud protection. I guess Ymmv based on your bank and geography, caveat emptor


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DaftInvestor
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:44 am

BW1985 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:35 pm
sambb wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:46 pm
The info is already on a check.. dont understand how this is risky compared to writing a check.
It isn't, as long as you don't confirm trial deposits linking your account to someone else's. If you do that then they can 'pull' money from your account, a reverse check in a sense.
When you say "it isn't" are you saying writing a paper check is somehow better? I've read that writing a paper check is the least secure method of payment these days due to the number of hands your routing-number/account-number pass through.

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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by BW1985 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:39 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:44 am
BW1985 wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:35 pm
sambb wrote:
Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:46 pm
The info is already on a check.. dont understand how this is risky compared to writing a check.
It isn't, as long as you don't confirm trial deposits linking your account to someone else's. If you do that then they can 'pull' money from your account, a reverse check in a sense.
When you say "it isn't" are you saying writing a paper check is somehow better? I've read that writing a paper check is the least secure method of payment these days due to the number of hands your routing-number/account-number pass through.
No, I'm saying it isn't any riskier than writing a check. As long as you don't confirm trial deposits ofcourse.
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neurosphere
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Re: An individual who owes me money wants my routing and account numbers for ACH transfer. Safe?

Post by neurosphere » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:39 pm

flamesabers wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:54 pm
neurosphere wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:54 pm
BarleywineAndBob wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:16 pm
Maybe he doesn't trust you with his account number. :P
Touche! :P

Yes, I suspect this was, in part, one of his reasons, a general tendency to minimize such such risks. Not from me, but from things like checks getting lost/stolen.
If he doesn't trust you with his account number, it doesn't sound fair for him to expect you to trust him with your account number. :?
Well, he's already trusted me with just about every bit of financial/personal information imaginable, so I don't believe he doesn't trust me with his checking account number. :D

The update is the the money appeared in my account from his bank, and there were no issues.

But one thing to note regarding other information in this thread regarding ACH fraud. Fraud protection does NOT exist for business accounts, only personal accounts. At least, that's what I believe Google has told me.

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