Verify: Is this Bank of America Alert real?
Is this Bank of America Alert--that says my account is temporarily suspended--real?
Completely fake--we smell a scam!
Gmail account settings
"Online Banking Email Fraud" -Bank of America
When it comes to online banking, as less and less face-time is supplanted by more and more screen-time, it's difficult to ferret out fraudulent emails as the internet becomes the preferred avenue of communication.
WUSA9 viewer Willa, emailed Verify with a Bank of America Alert email that looked sketchy from the start.
It reads, "We have believed that someone other than you is trying to access your account for security reasons, we have temporarily suspend your account and your access to online banking will be restricted if you fail to update."
The Alert asks you to restore your account by clicking to another site.
There are many reasons why we can verify this one as fake. First, Willa tells Verify she doesn't have a Bank of America account, so there was no reason for them to contact her about a security breach.
Second, there are numerous grammatical errors in the Alert. Bank of America warns customer to be wary of elementary grammar mistakes.
"Obvious typos and other errors. These are often the mark of fraudulent emails and websites. Be on the lookout for typos or grammatical errors, awkward writing and poor visual design," Bank of America writes on its site.
Lastly, we Verified that anyone can change the way their email address is displayed in an email. The email to Willa said it was from "Bank of America Alerts." Hovering over the URL shows that the email is actually coming from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bank of America recommends doing exactly what the Verify team did and hover over the sender's name. If it looks fishy, report it to email@example.com.