Fraud department for bank of america -
Scams and Fraudulent Investment Schemes That Misuse Our Name
Frequently Asked Questions
- Should individuals and businesses look out for fraudulent investment and other scams that misuse the World Bank's name?
- What forms do these fraudulent schemes take?
- What should you do if you receive suspicious notifications about winning money to be paid by the Bank; faxes, emails, or other correspondence involving requests for money transfers or payments that reference the Bank or any member of the World Bank Group; or solicitations to open a personal bank account at the Bank?
- Fraudulent job postings and offers: What should you do if you receive a suspicious notification about a job posting or offer from the World Bank Group asking you to send money as part of the recruitment process?
1. Should individuals and businesses look out for fraudulent investment scams that misuse the World Bank's name?
Yes, individuals and businesses should take care not to fall victim to investment scams, known as Advance Fee Fraud schemes. Some of these schemes misuse our name or falsely claim to be affiliated with the World Bank Group.
Many scams, known as Advance Fee Fraud schemes, originate in Nigeria and are known as "Nigerian scams" or "4-1-9" letters after the section of the Nigerian penal code that deals with this type of fraud. Other fraud schemes have originated in Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
Police estimate that thousands of these solicitations are sent by fax or email every week and are addressed to individuals and companies around the world. Only a very small fraction actually involves the use of the Bank's name.
Recently, two new fraudulent schemes have surfaced in South Africa. These involve solicitations to open a personal bank account at the Bank, which is not a commercial bank, as well as telephone messages left by perpetrators notifying potential victims that they have won money that can be redeemed at the World Bank.
2. What forms do these fraudulent schemes take?
We've seen increased use of sophisticated forms and letterhead to send what appears to be legitimate World Bank Group correspondence, as well as several schemes that reference the Bank. Also, scam artists sometimes falsely represent themselves as Bank auditors or members of the Bank West African Regional Delegation.
Recently, correspondence was sent by fax to creditors of West African governments, claiming that the senders were empowered by these governments to repay past debts. Official-looking Bank letterhead was used.
Typically, the solicitations asked potential victims to provide personal information such as signatures or bank account information, and to pay certain advance fees, often described as "processing fees." In return, the potential victim was promised sums of money that the person soliciting the "fees" had no intention of paying. In some cases, those seeking the funds used the names of actual Bank staff members to sign the letters in order to bolster their credibility.
Here's an example of such a scam using official-looking Bank letterhead and signature. See example (pdf).
In South Africa, one new scheme involves notification in a message left on a cell phone that the recipient has won money to be paid by the Bank. The message directs the person to call a certain number to arrange payment. This scam was uncovered when the potential victim arrived at a Bank office in country seeking payment, because the telephone number in another country, which was left on the person’s cell phone, fortunately failed to connect.
View an example (pdf) of this type of personal banking scheme.
We have no involvement in such schemes, and we caution the public to be very wary of these and other similar solicitations that falsely claim to be affiliated with the Bank or any member of the World Bank Group.
3. What should you do if you receive suspicious notifications about winning money to be paid by the Bank; faxes, emails, or other correspondence involving requests for money transfers or payments that reference the Bank or any member of the World Bank Group; or solicitations to open a personal bank account at the Bank?
If you receive what seems to be an unusual money request from person(s) representing to be members of the World Bank Group, or have concerns as to the authenticity of the World Bank Group's actual involvement in a particular transaction, solicitation, notification, directive or request, do NOT respond to the request and do NOT send any money or provide any of your personal bank account details.
If you would like to verify whether any particular individual is a World Bank employee, please contact the World Bank's Human Resources Service Center at 202-473-2222 or [email protected] The HR Service Center provides employment verification for World Bank employees.
If you would like to verify whether a particular individual who claims to represent the World Bank is a World Bank employee, please contact the World Bank's Human Resources Service Center at 202-473-2222 or [email protected] The HR Service Center provides employment verification for World Bank employees.
The World Bank does not typically investigate these types of scams. If you feel you have been the victim of such a scam you should contact local law enforcement authorities.
Further information on these types of schemes can be found on various websites, including those of the FBI, the US Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission:
4. Fraudulent job postings and offers: What should you do if you receive a suspicious notification about a job posting or offer from the World Bank Group asking you to send money as part of the recruitment process?
There is a worldwide scheme involving fraudulent job postings and offers purporting to be from or associated with the World Bank Group. The scheme is used to falsely obtain money and/or personal information.
The World Bank Group does not request any amount of money as part of its recruitment process.
Official communication from the World Bank Group will always come from emails ending in @worldbankgroup.org, @worldbank.org, or @ifc.org. If you believe that you are a potential victim of a fraudulent job offer, please forward any related information you have received to [email protected]
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2021
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If you’ve been the victim of fraud or identity theft, we are here to assist you in any way we can. The information below can help you resolve the issue as quickly as possible. You can also always contact our Customer Service team and we will be more than happy to provide additional information where available.
If you receive an email that is suspicious and is using American Bank’s name, we would appreciate if you would forward it to us immediately.
If you suspect that fraudulent activity has occurred with any of your American Bank accounts, please contact us immediately. You can do so by contacting Customer Service either by phone at 888.366.6622, by clicking here to send us a secure email or by sending a Secured Message when you are signed on to your accounts through AmericanBank Online.
Here are some additional steps you can take if you become a victim of identity theft.
- Report the incident to the police immediately. If you know where your identification was stolen, that would be the correct police jurisdiction in which to report it. Insist being given a police report number and get a copy to enclose in correspondence with credit agencies.
- Report all stolen cards to the issuers immediately and request new card numbers. Always respond to written credit card receipt notifications received in the mail.
- Notify your bank in the event that your checks are stolen and request that your account be closed.
- In order to prove your innocence, be prepared to fill out affidavits of forgeries for banks, credit grantors, and recipients of stolen checks. They are joint victims with you and may suffer a financial loss.
- Be prepared to work with retailers who have been victimized by someone using your name to help mitigate their losses, if necessary.
- Contact the social security office if someone is using your social security number to establish credit or new accounts. If SSN fraud is suspected, call the Office of the Inspector General hotline at 800.269.0271.
- Obtain copies of your credit report periodically to see if there are any unknown credit lines in your name. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report, at your request, from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion once every 12 months. You can learn more about how to obtain your free credit report(s) by clicking here. You can also purchase additional copies of your credit report for less than $10. All three major credit reporting agencies in the United States have toll free numbers which can be utilized for ordering a credit report. Equifax: 800.685.1111, Experian: 888.397.3742, TransUnion: 877.322.8228. Each agency has a consumer fraud division-call them.
- Report suspected fraud to the credit reporting agencies and request that your account be red flagged.
State payment contractor Bank of America was pitted against California employment officials at a legislative hearing on monthslong benefit delays and rampant fraud.
California unemployment debit card contractor Bank of America lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars last year as it scrambled to address record jobless claims, rampant fraud and a flood of consumer complaints, a senior bank executive told lawmakers today.
The assertion came at a state hearing hours after a new audit slammed the California Employment Development Department for years of mismanagement and technical errors that culminated in a failure to respond to skyrocketing unemployment after COVID-19 lockdowns. More than an hour into the contentious Assembly budget committee meeting, the bank, which contracts with the state agency, was directly asked how much it has made on the contract it has held since 2010 — a question that both the bank and the state have repeatedly refused to answer when asked by CalMatters.
“With respect to what the bank has earned last year, we’ve actually lost hundreds of millions of dollars on the contract,” said Faiz Ahmad, managing director of transaction services for Bank of America. “We never really mention it because it pales in comparison to the scale of the human cost of the pandemic.”
Bank of America previously told state officials that it has increased customer service staffing more than twentyfold, to more than 6,000 people, as it responded to intense anxiety about unemployment fraud in California and other states where it administers unemployment debit cards. The bank’s decade-old contract with the agency was offered at no direct cost to the state, with the bank instead earning revenue from merchant transaction fees and gaining access to millions of potential customers, a copy of the contract obtained by CalMatters shows.
In the COVID-19 era, however, that deal has been complicated by finger-pointing between the bank and the state about who is to blame for jobless Californians ensnared in fraud crackdowns, some losing their homes or struggling to care for loved ones while unable to access badly needed unemployment benefits. Bank of America contends that the “vast majority” of fraud was linked to fake applications that the state failed to catch, rather than hacked debit cards, and state personnel also struggled to answer lawmakers’ questions about how to make claimants whole.
“People are still suffering,” said newly appointed EDD Director Rita Saenz. “We still lost the money. There’s no sugar-coating that.”
What happens next is unclear. California Labor Secretary Julie Su on Monday said that the state has confirmed at least $11 billion in unemployment fraud during the pandemic, mostly impacting federal emergency programs started in the spring, with an additional $19 billion under review.
Several lawmakers have proposed new measures to add a direct deposit option for state unemployment payments and further reform the program. Earlier this month, debit card disputes with Bank of America boiled over into a class-action lawsuit over the bank’s alleged failure to secure unemployment claimants’ accounts.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, a Democrat from Los Angeles, called some of Bank of America’s more muted responses “disturbing” after she recounted stories of desperate constituents ending up on the street or threatening to harm themselves.
Around 450,000 unemployment debit cards remain frozen, Bank of America’s Ahmad said. How many may turn out to be legitimate claimants, however, is still unknown.
Lauren covers the California economy for CalMatters. Her past stories have been published by the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Guardian and others. She previously worked as a staff reporter for Protocol... More by Lauren Hepler
Reporting Identity Theft
How to report identity theft
TD Bank will never ask you to confirm your account number, PIN, password or any other personal information via e-mail, text or voice call. If you are concerned that you have received fraudulent e-mail, text or call, disclosed confidential information or have questions about online security, immediately contact Customer Service at 1-888-751-90001-888-751-9000. For credit card-related transactions, please contact TD Bank Visa® Credit Card at 1-888-561-88611-888-561-8861.
To report fraud at the three major credit bureaus, contact their fraud departments and request that a fraud alert be placed on your credit file.
Equifax (www.equifax.com*): 1-800-525-62851-800-525-6285
Experian (www.experian.com*): 1-888-397-37421-888-397-3742
TransUnion (www.transunion.com*): 1-800-680-72891-800-680-7289
Next, close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with, and contact all your banks, credit card issuers and other creditors on your own to report identity theft and protect your rights.
If you suspect your Social Security number has been compromised, call the Social Security Administration hotline at 1-877-438-43381-877-438-4338 or locate and contact your local Social Security office.*
Finally, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)*, which maintains a database of identity theft cases used by law enforcement for investigations, and can advise you on your next steps. You may also report identity theft to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-43571-877-382-4357.
Here are some additional links to help you learn more about how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if it happens to you.
Federal Trade Commission tips*
Staysafe Online Security Information*
Bank of America sued over EDD unemployment debit card fraud
A class-action lawsuit accuses Bank of America of exposing unemployed California workers to fraud and suspended jobless payments.