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On the other hand, there was that famous Jeremy Clarkson incident when he published his bank details and someone managed to set-up a charity donation using those details.
"In an attempt to prove the press and public furore over the 2007 UK child benefit data scandal was a fuss about nothing, he published his own bank account number and sort code, together with instructions on how to find out his address, in The Sun newspaper, expecting nobody to be able to remove money from his account. He later discovered that someone had been able to set up a monthly direct debit for £500 to Diabetes UK."
I think as atkinsar points out, it's a risk but I'd imagine it's a very small one.
That being said, I would not send these details to someone online who wasn't known to me or didn't have a good reputation.
Businesses that take a lot of bank transfer payments usually have an incoming only bank account setup, so they can freely publish those details because only money can be deposited into it, nothing can be electronically withdrawn (you physically have to go to the bank to take money out of such accounts).
Hope it helps!
I would strongly disagree with this, Bricklink is pretty safe. I normally will feel safe paying with a money order, even knowing that there is no agency I can turn to get my money back.
ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfers in the US work differently to wire transfers and can be reversed, unlike wire transfers which almost always cannot (they can be, but only for very limited reasons and never for the type people here care about).
For example, if I have your bank account info (the info on the bottom of a check), I can initiate an ACH withdrawal from your bank account. It is assumed that I have your permission, which you are supposed to provide me and I keep on file.
If you challenge this with your bank (there is fun paperwork to fill out), you can claim fraud and if I don't have something signed by you giving me permission, the bank can reverse the withdrawal and take the funds back out of my account.
In practice, it is a tad more complex than this, but this feature doesn't exist at all with wire transfers, only an account holder can send money with a wire, but the seller can actually pull funds with an ACH transfer.
The largest company that keeps track of this in the US is ChexSystems. If you were to do the above and for whatever reason, the funds were to be reversed creating a negative balance, the bank would create a negative balance in the account and expect to get paid.
If you don't pay them, they'll report it to ChexSystems, the major credit reporting companies, and perhaps hand it over to collections.
Just saying, "well, I have it in my physical possession" isn't enough, the liability doesn't go away. You'll also find it nearly impossible to open a new bank account anywhere until you square up with your former account.
Think of it this way, if you stiff Capital One 360 by taking your money and running, why would Bank of America want to do business with you? I know I wouldn't.
You're much better off knowing your rights and responsibilities and accepting the risks for what they are.
The challenge for you is that burden of proof is on the person receiving the ACH. I personally don't do such transfers for people I don't know, too much risk.
BTW, may people complain that PayPal isn't a bank. It probably should be, but it isn't right now. If it was, you'd have far less seller protection when using it. In this way, PayPal has more flexibility to rule on money transfers with its current status. If converted to a bank, you would indeed have the rights any bank account owner has, but also the risks and rules of a bank account.
There is no such thing as a "reverse wire," so they can't pull the money from your account via wire, but as LFT said above, that person could use the same account information you gave them to send you the wire as a way to create an ACH debit against your account.
Your best protection against that? Call your bank and have them place an ACH Debit Block on your account. That won't prevent ACH Credits (i.e. direct deposits, transfers from PayPal, etc.), but it will prevent money from being drawn from your account.
Without insurance, the sender of the wire has little recourse. There is a limited window of opportunity to "recall" a wire, and by the time you realized you weren't getting your art, or LEGO or whatever it may be, that window is long closed.
These fees can be a lot for small sums. Why not get the guy to send money as a gift via paypal?
Hope it works out for you