The Great Game Theory Guide: #16 How to Prevent a Bank Robbery, Your Bank Robbing You!

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By Foilman CC License

Q. Lewis, I just got legally scammed by my own bank and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. Can you help me, and if not, show me how by using HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory) I can prevent it from happening again.

A. Does that suck or what? There is a solution here. Before I answer your question it might be helpful if we begin with a short introduction to the basics of game theory. Below is an article (a 6-minute read) as well as a more in-depth video embedded in the article. Both were created so they would be understood by 12-year-old.

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Using all of the gaming skills you have learned from the sandbox, through Rubick’s Cube, and now into video games and sports will change your life in every way, for the better.

The Article: Click on the title ‘the Best Introduction… just below.

The Best Introduction to Game Theory, Simple and Easy to Understand — Written for a 12-Year-Old

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By Flicker CC License

A. Now to answer your question. There is a saying in HAGT that guides me in many of my business and personal relations.

“The reason things go wrong is usually that someone did what they weren’t supposed to do, or they didn’t do something they were supposed to do”.

This connects to the idea that knowledge is power. In this case, it is knowledge and data points. When applied it translates to…

The information you choose to ignore will definitely come back to bite you on the ass!

I learned this saying from Frank Abagnale, a famous con artist whose early life was the subject of the 2002 American biographical crime film Catch Me If You Can. Abagnale made that statement in a recent class he offered to the employees at Google.

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By photos for class

How Did This Problem Even Come About?

When you sign up for a bank account there is a form you sign. This form usually consists of a page or two of “fine print”. Most of us never read that fine print and even if we did we wouldn’t understand what the heck it all means. I know I should have taken that post-graduate course at Harvard on “How to Read Legalese on bank forms” but I was busy writing my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

The Actual Problem

One of the agreements most customers receive when they open a bank account is a clause buried in that fine print known as “the right of ‘offset’, also sometimes referred to as “the right of setoff”.

What it basically states is that the bank has the legal power to seize funds from a debtor or guarantor of debt, meaning you. Of course, this right will vary depending on the plan or product. Excluding Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSPs) and registered retirement income funds, “the right of ‘offset’ is in most agreements.

How Does This Play Out?

From Here…

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By 401(K) 2013 CC license

To Here…

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By 401(K) 2013 CC license
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By Pixabay CC License

1. Your bank accepts a deposit. It can be in the form of a check or some other form.

2. This deposit doesn’t go through as expected for any number of reasons including someone, including a professional scammer or conjobber giving you a “bad check”.

3. You aren’t aware that the check is bad and you withdraw or transfers the funds.

4. Since the funds you withdrew are not actually there the bank can legally claim they have made a bad loan.

5. The bank then has the right to access money in other accounts it holds for you, in order to recover its loss.

What Can You Do to Prevent This?

Not much. This is a situation that can happen anywhere but is especially common in the United States and Canada. If you put money in banks you need to be aware of how common it is for banks to access one customer account to recover their own losses from the same customer’s second or third account.

Doug Hoyes, an insolvency trustee in Kitchener, Ont., speaks about this in the article I have attached below.

“It blindsides people,” Hoyes said. “I’ve seen it happen thousands of times.”

Of course, this problem will affect you if you make a living delivering for Door Dash, but not if you own Door Dash. It is no problem either for new bank customers. Why is this? Well, banks generally put a hold on big checks deposited to the accounts of new customers. Thus, they cannot access the funds until the check clears. Trusted, well-to-do longstanding, customers, are also protected. Here, banks often extend a line of credit and so funds are immediately available.

Hoyes adds, “In most cases what the bank did is very helpful; ‘Hey, you put the money in, you can use it.’ But in this case, it backfired”, he said.

In such a scenario a five- or even three-day hold on the check you had received would have stopped the scammers cold. However, if you a longtime bank client you’re probably out of luck. The good news is that such a customer will receive instant access to funds. The bad news is that you are a prime target for a con.

Hoyes added that he often tells his own clients, all of whom have money problems, to…

Set up bank accounts at two different financial institutions. “It is wise to have your assets at a different bank than your debts if it’s possible,” he said. That way if a payment goes wrong in any way, the bank isn’t able to dip into other accounts on file, he explained.

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by hrp_images

The Takeaway

I don’t want to make you feel like this problem could have been easily avoided. It has happened to me. It is hard to void a professional con put into action by a professional conman. Still, once you’ve been hustled it need not happen a second time.

One key to preventing this from happening is to know what you are supposed to do and avoid doing what you’re not supposed to do. This strategy won’t always work but it‘s a good way to go most of the time.

Here is a great article concerning the scenario I just described to you

The best movies ever made about professional cons is Catch me if you Can, and House of Games. Here are the trailers…

Catch Me If You Can -Trailer

House of Games — Trailer

If you are still a bit confused about how to apply game theory in your daily life watch the video below, Just click on the URL.

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By Day Dream CC Licence

We offer a customized and personalize Course in Harrison’s and Holistic Applied Game Theory: Become more effective, efficient, productive, innovative, and self-aware.

Study Applied Game Theory A-Z and Beyond…2.2.

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By Author

Click on this URL link below and explore the course

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To follow all of my Great Game Theory Guide postings and stories, check out the full Table of Contents at …

About the Author: Lewis Harrison, is a speaker a strategist specializing in Applied Game Theory Strategies and Personal Improvement

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I am always exploring trends, innovations, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. If you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love.

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