Ghost Bank Account: When Confidentiality Goes Too Far
What do we mean when we say “a ghost bank account”? First of all, this is a fake account created for illegitimate purposes.
00:42 09 August 2023
What do we mean when we say “a ghost bank account”? First of all, this is a fake account created for illegitimate purposes. Second, this is an inactive account of any legitimate bank customer that can be used for illegal purposes, such as money laundering or fraud. We strongly advise you to periodically monitor your bank accounts to identify those that are unused and timely close them.
We invite you to our portal where you can read more information on ghost bank accounts and risks, as well as the peculiarities of foreign banking in different countries. We also have qualified experts who will help you find a reliable bank that will be best suited for your purposes (for free) and open a corporate or personal account without much hassle on your part (this is a fee-based service). Follow the link above to book a one-on-one session!
How Ghost Bank Accounts Are Misused: Real Stories
We have two real stories to tell you which will show you how bank accounts are used in an illegal way.
In the first case, fraudsters used ghost accounts in Bengal, India. First, they collected welfare documents from hundreds of villagers to obtain their personal information and sample signatures. Later on, they used this data to open 231 ghost accounts to realize a scheme connected with livestock smuggling: the illegal funds were transferred to a bank in Calcutta. The fraudulent scheme was revealed after a handwriting specialist compared the signatures on the documents and found out that 200 out of 231 of them were put by the same person.
The second case provides fewer details but still serves as one more typical example of what may happen if your account remains abandoned for a long time. This time we are talking about a bank in South Africa where its employees used customer accounts that remained non-active for a long time to realize their personal schemes. The bank refused to disclose any further details, but its reputation suffered greatly.
If you want to deal with a reliable bank, please follow the above link to contact our experts. We know how to minimize the risks associated with your banking activities!
Measures Taken Against Ghost Accounts
Even if you manage to open an account using somebody else’s identity, you should know that this is an offense that will result in serious fines or even imprisonment. When you submit a package of documents to the bank to open an account, double-check them to provide accurate information – or allow our specialists to do the same for you.
Banks take internationally recognized measures to prevent potential clients from opening ghost accounts. For instance, they have a KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure: they study your background and questionnaire that you fill out for them, search your name in databases, invite you to a personal interview, and do their best to rest assured that you open an account for yourself (or your company) and you are not going to engage in any illegal operations. It is not surprising they monitor your financial activities afterward on a more or less regular basis.
Illegal Use of Ghost Accounts
A ghost bank account is opened to keep the identity of its owner confidential. Later on, it may be used for illegal activities, usually the following ones:
- Money laundering. It is done by transferring the illegal funds from one account to another until their origin cannot be established and they may conditionally be considered legal. A ghost account may be one of the points in this chain of transactions.
- Tax evasion. A ghost bank account may be used as a hiding place to keep a part of assets that the wrongdoer wants to conceal from tax authorities in order not to pay taxes on them.
- Theft. A ghost account may be used to transfer a certain amount from a company bank account to be later used for personal purposes.
- Fraud. Finally, a ghost bank account may be used to receive illegal payments for products or services that have never been purchased or provided.
It should be noted that if your offshore account is anonymous, it will not be considered an illegal ghost account unless you carry out illegitimate operations. If you want to make sure your account complies with the laws, seek assistance from our consultants by clicking on the above link.
Risks Connected with Ghost Accounts
Anonymous or ghost bank accounts are usually prohibited and may entail a lot of negative consequences if you manage to open them. Here are the typical risks involved:
- Legal implications. If the ghost account owner is found, he or she will inevitably be brought to responsibility in the form of a fine or even imprisonment.
- Loss of money. If there are minor suspicions on the part of authorities that the ghost account was used by the individual or company to engage in any fraudulent activities, the account is blocked, and the money is confiscated.
- Damage to reputation. The fact of using a ghost account will do substantial damage to the reputation of a business or individual and they may have problems obtaining loans from banking institutions later on.
- Difficulty tracking operations. If you have a ghost account, it will be hard to track your transactions, which means that fraudsters will find it easier to abuse your account.
Legal Anonymity of Bank Accounts
Ghost accounts are dangerous. On the other hand, people turn to our consultants as they want as much confidentiality as possible. We can offer absolutely legitimate ways of getting as much anonymity as you reasonably can in the present-day world where international regulators put a lot of pressure on banks demanding transparency.
We can offer jurisdictions that still provide the highest degree of privacy. And if you want to own funds in an absolutely anonymous way, you can use trusts in jurisdictions that remain real strongholds for assets, like Nevis or Belize.
We cannot help you if you are seeking ways to anonymously engage in illegal operations. However, our specialists have a number of options allowing you to hold and manage your assets while keeping your identity secret. Follow the link above to read more articles on the topic or share your questions and doubts with our specialists!