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Fraud Prevention

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Know fraud when
you see it

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Know fraud
when you
see it

see it

How to recognize fraud

Recognizing fraud isn’t always easy, but knowing what to look for can help you avoid becoming a target. Common types of scams will target you with emails (a technique known as phishing), text messages (smishing) or voice calls (vishing).

Bank of America will never ask you to provide your Social Security number, ATM or debit card PIN or any other sensitive information in response to an email or text. If you receive an email or text from Bank of America and you’re unsure if it’s real, don’t click on any links.

It's now easier than ever to connect and multitask from almost anywhere. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while on the go:

  • Disable remote and automatic connection to Wi-fi and Bluetooth on your devices. Use Bluetooth in hidden mode instead of discoverable mode.

  • Avoid public or unsecured Wi-fi networks whenever possible, especially in airports, hotels and cafes. Never use such networks to access financial accounts. Instead, use a network you trust or your cellular network.

  • If you have to use a public charging station, use a power charger outlet, not just the USB connection (USB connections are how scammers access and upload malware to your device). You can also use a cable that's just for power and doesn't allow data transfer.

What is your fraud concern?

I'm worried there's fraudulent activity on my account

The first thing to look for: Any unauthorized transaction on your account statements. Monitor your statements regularly and set up alerts to inform you of any account activity that looks suspicious. What to do if you see a suspicious transaction.

Other signs of fraud include: Being denied credit unexpectedly, receiving credit cards you never applied for or receiving calls from collection agencies seeking payment for items you never purchased. Any of these could be signals that you've been the victim of phishing, vishing or smishing techniques.

The best ways to avoid account fraud include following these steps you can take now to increase your security.

I've received a suspicious email

The first thing to look for: Fraudulent emails typically imply urgency, attempting to get you to act quickly before you have time to carefully read and examine the message. They often don't address you by name and contain obvious grammar and/or spelling errors. See an example of a fraudulent email layer.

Other signs of email fraud: If you hover over a link in a fraudulent email (don't click it!), it will usually show you that it's pointing to a site different from the one stated in the message. The goal is to get you to click through to a web page where you'll be asked to provide personal information or open an attachment that may be malicious. What to do if you receive a suspicious email.

The best way to avoid email fraud is to remain vigilant. Never click on a link in an email unless you are absolutely certain who sent the email and where the link is taking you. Remember: We will never use email to ask you for personal information such as your account number, card PIN, Social Security number or Tax ID number. See how to spot email scams.

I've received a suspicious text message

The first thing to look for: As with fraudulent emails, fraudulent text messages often suggest urgent action, attempting to get you to act quickly before you have time to carefully read and examine the message. They often don't address you by name and contain obvious grammar and/or spelling errors.

Other signs of text message fraud include: Promises of free gifts in exchange for your personal or bank account information. Never click a link in a suspicious text message: It could result in malware being loaded to your phone that sends your personal information to a scammer. Visit the FTC page about text message spam layer.

If you receive a fraudulent text message do not respond to it or click any link in it. Forward it to us immediately at (please note that we will only reply to your message if we require additional information). You can also contact us immediately to verify the validity of the message.

Example of fraudulent email

To help protect your info, please be on the alert for emails that look suspicious. Here are some signs that an email may be fraudulent:

Unusual content, including poor spelling and grammar or words spelled in UK-style English

...our fraud programme detected unusual activity on your Bank of America account.

Urgent call to action

If you do not respond to the link above immediately...
Example of fraudulent email

Your privacy and security are our top priority! Here are some ways we protect you:

  • Keeping your personal and financial information protected and secure through responsible information collection and processing
  • Protecting against threats with an award-winning cybersecurity team that delivers comprehensive security 24/7
  • Continuously monitoring transactions for suspicious activity
  • Alerting you to potential fraud through the mobile app, text alerts, email or phone

Here are some ways you can help defend yourself against fraud:

  • Use our Mobile Banking app. It’s the best way for you to stay on top of any suspicious account activity. Get the latest version of our app
  • Keep your contact information up to date. If we spot an issue, we want to get in touch with you the quickest way possible. Provide your mobile number, too, so we can alert you to any potentially fraudulent activity. Sign in and review your contact info
  • Create strong, unique passwords that are 8 or more characters long and include a combination of numbers, symbols and upper- and lowercase letters. Learn more about creating strong passwords
  • Use multifactor authentication (a method in which your device is granted access after successfully providing two or more pieces of information) whenever possible
  • Protect your devices by keeping your phone, tablet and computer up to date with the latest applications, operating systems and antivirus software. Review our browser and operating system requirements
  • Keep your account information secure by going paperless, never writing your PIN on the back of your card and using only trusted online payment methods such as Bill Pay or Zelle® instead of writing checks
  • Keep informed about privacy and security issues. Review our Privacy & Security FAQs

Additional things you need to know about fraud

Business email compromise is a growing threat

Business email addresses are a high-value target for fraudsters.

Visit the FBI page about business email compromise layer
See how to protect your business accounts

Data breaches sometimes happen

But we can work together to significantly minimize your risk.

What to expect when a merchant compromise occurs

Secure your smartphone

A lost or stolen smartphone can be an identity theft nightmare.

See how to secure your smartphone

Knowledge is power

Additional resources you may want to explore include: Better Money Habits, Cyber Talk layer and the Identity Theft Resource Center layer

Report a problem

Report a problem

    Know what to do when your card is lost or stolen, you see suspicious activity on your statement and more.

    See how to report a problem

    Are you being scammed?

    Are you being scammed?

    Scams are not always obvious. See how to recognize common types of scams — and how to avoid them.

    Learn more about scams