Whether you’ve accidentally spent more than you had in the bank and find yourself subject to costly overdraft fees or have an expensive bill come out of nowhere, losing money is never a good feeling. That’s why bank-issued protections, like notifications about expensive charges and fraud alerts, can provide such peace of mind to customers. Unfortunately, a new scam claiming to offer protection against fraud is targeting customers of one particular bank—and the trouble starts the second you pick up the phone. Read on to find out what you should do if you get this call.
Bank of America customers have recently been targeted in a new phone scam, ABC 7 reports. The fraud begins with customers receiving a text that appears to be from Bank of America, which asks them to verify a recent purchase. When customers deny having made the purchase, they receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative for Bank of America, who asks them questions related to their account. Thanks to the perpetrators’ caller ID spoofing, the call appears to be coming from a legitimate Bank of America phone number
After callers provide their information to the alleged Bank of America representative, they’re told that a large sum of money—frequently $3,500—has is being sent to Zelle, a mobile payment app, and that the transaction is still pending, thus enabling the customer to reverse it.
To supposedly correct the fraud, Bank of America customers are then told to send that exact amount of money back to themselves through the Zelle app. Unfortunately, the scammers have spoofed or coopted the customers’ profiles, meaning the cash goes to them instead.
While ensuring that you know who you’re sending money before conducting any online transactions is always a good rule of thumb, Bank of America has a recommendation for anyone who receives a call that’s supposedly from the bank.
“We remind clients that they should not provide confidential account information to unidentified individuals. Bank of America and other legitimate companies would not ask for sensitive account information, such as passcodes or authentication codes. We have a number of measures in place to proactively warn clients about scams, and we periodically reach out to customers with information about how to stay safe and avoid scams,” the bank said in a statement provided to ABC 7.
If you want to protect yourself and your money, there’s a simple way to avoid getting scammed.
If you happen to receive a call that seems to be from your bank, the safest bet is to hang up and look up the bank’s number online. Call that number and ask if the call you’ve just received is legitimate or not before providing any of your information. You can also visit Bank of America’s Security Center to report suspicious activity on your account, phishing scams, and identity theft.