Bank Fee Reimbursement: Phone Scam Overview
Imagine getting a call from your bank and they state that you’re eligible for a reimbursement of fees. They made a mistake on your account and took too many fees and now they would like to refund this money. They just need to verify a few details on how you would like this money given back to you.
How the Bank Fee Reimbursement Phone Scam Works
You’ll get a call or text from a supposed representative of your bank. They will either inform you that your account was charged incorrect fees or that bank policies have changed and that they are reimbursing past fees that are no longer applicable.
If you get a call from the bank representative they will just ask you to confirm a few details. Things like your security word that you have associated with your account, what phone number and address you have associated with the account, and to confirm the last four digits of your social security and your bank account number that you would like the reimbursed fees deposited into.
None of these questions will come off as unusual, especially since it will seem like the caller is calling from your bank. These scammers will often use spoofing to manipulate the caller ID.
If you get a text claiming that you’re going to be reimbursed fees it will include a URL. Clicking this URL from your phone may install malware on your phone, or bring you directly to a phishing site.
How to Avoid This Scam
This scam can be easy to avoid as long as you ask yourself these two questions when you get a call or text like this.
- Why wouldn’t my bank just reimburse me directly into the account the fees were taken out of in the first place?
- Why wouldn’t my bank already have this information?
There’s no logical answer to either of these questions and if you find yourself on the phone with a “bank representative” you can ask them for some answers. However, in all cases when dealing with a potential phone scammer it’s best to just hang up and avoid them.
How to Report the Scam
If you’re contacted by someone claiming to be from your bank make sure you report it directly to your bank or credit union. You can also report it to the Federal Trade Commission by filling out their online complaint form.
It’s important to help raise awareness about these types of phone scams. You can let others know if you’ve been targeted in a phishing scam by leaving your feedback on the phone number in our call tracing app for iPhone or in our online phone listings directory.