RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond resident almost fell victim to a scam targeting his credit card information and social security when someone contacted him posing as Bank of America. While he was able to avoid trouble, others lose their money or identity in scams every year.
Everette Spindle of Richmond woke up to a strange text message last week from someone who claimed to be from Bank of America. The message seemed odd to him because he left Bank of America as a client in 2015. His uncertainty made him question the matter, but after being told to contact them by phone to resolve the issue he called from a different number.
After calling he was asked to give up his personal information, including his name, phone number and credit card information. When he was asked to give up his social security number, he stopped.
“That’s when I knew it was a scam,” Spindle said. “Then I attempted to call Bank of America, but their prompts did not really get you a chance to speak to a human being.”
Spindle’s concerns saved him from potentially losing his money or his identity. But many others fall victim to similar scams every year.
Bank of America provided information on their website to handle scams and fraud in cases directly related to finances. They say the most common types of scams will target you through fake emails, text messages, voice calls, letters or even someone who shows up at your front door unexpectedly.
Knowing the signs will help you notice certain tactics that scammers may use to gain your information. Bank of America advises their clients to look out if they are:
- Instructed to not trust Bank of America, or to respond to questions in untruthful ways
- Pressured to send money
- Threatened with law enforcement action
- Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
- Asked to cash a check for a stranger or send money via wire transfer or Zelle
- Asked to deposit a check that overpays for something you’re selling, then send the difference elsewhere
Bank of America has partnered with Zelle, their money transferring service, to put together resources to help their clients learn more about financial fraud and common scammer tactics. They have a list of educational videos to watch and quizzes to take to test your knowledge, which can be found on their website.
Scams can come from anywhere, not just those posing as Bank of America. To report this fraud or scam, or anything else that appears suspicious, Virginians can contact any of the following institutions:
Office of the Attorney General
- Attorney General: Bob McDonnell
- 202 North Ninth Street Richmond, Va. 23219
Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 804-648-0016
- Fax: 804-648-3115
- 701 E. Franklin Street, St. 712 Richmond Va. 23219-2332
Virginia Consumer Fraud
- File a Complaint: Complaint Form
How to Report Healthcare Fraud
- Contact the private insurance company
- Contact the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 800-552-3402.