Did You Receive a Bank of America Fraud Alert?

Have you received an alert from Bank of America about suspicious activity on your account and you want to know if it's real or not? Read on and perhaps this article will help.

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I received a call from 315-724-4022, and a message was left asking me to call 866-242-6289 due to suspicious activity on my account. As someone who spends a great deal of time reading and writing about fraud, I approached this call with skepticism. When I looked at the back of my debit card, however, in fine print at the bottom it reads:

From Outside the US call collect at 315.724.4022

So the number is definitely a legitimate Bank of America number. Of course phone numbers can be spoofed, so I still approached it with some caution. Here’s the voice mail that was left by 315-724-4022 (Xs are used here to replace personal information):

This is the ATM debit customer protection department at Bank of America calling for XXX regarding unusual activity on your ATM debt card ending in XXXX. Please call us at 1-866-242-6289 by July 20th and enter the message code XXXXXX. A temporary hold may have been placed on your account and will be removed upon verification of activity. If you subscribe to online and/or text alerts and have received or responded to an alert in the last 24 hours, please disregard this message. Again that number is 1-866-242-6289 by July 20 and enter the message code XXXXXX. If you are calling from outside the United States, you may contact us at 602-597-2395. Thank you. 

After some Googling, I was moderately confident that the 866 number was legit. But I still wasn’t certain. So I called the 866-242-6289 number, still somewhat leery about the whole process. When I was connected to a live operator, she proceeded to ask me about certain charges on my account that only someone with access to my account would have.

Ironically, while I was on the phone with Bank of America, I received a text from from 70650, also claiming to be Bank of America! The text read:

FREE TEXT MSG alert-Bank of America has temporarily limited the use of you Debit Card due to irregular activity. Call 1-866-459-9195 To Opt Out reply STOP.

I’m not sure whey the text message used a different toll-free number, unless it’s for tracking purposes. But that number appears to be valid as well.

What’s somewhat frustrating is that I went through this exact same thing only two months ago. At that time, I was told that I had to cancel my current debit card and get a new one. It’s a slight but necessary annoyance, especially when you use your debit card for auto-pay features for certain accounts, such as car insurance. So to have another “suspicious activity” call only 8 weeks later, barely enough time for me to start using my new card, was a bit surprising. This time, however, they didn’t issue me a new card, but instead verified some recent charges and then lifted the hold on my card.

I should note that the charge in question was for a purchase of the game Minecraft, which was done through Moneybookers in Europe. This apparently raised a flag in Bank of America’s system. The previous “suspicious activity” a couple of months ago was when I purchased some online advertising on Facebook. For that I had to get a new debit card.

I should say that I’d rather Bank of America err on the side of caution, and this is no way meant to serve as a complain against them. I have had real fraud on my account before, and they caught it before I did. I realize that Bank of America has its legion of haters, particularly due to fees and mortgages – and many of those complaints are valid. This article isn’t meant to touch on those topics. (In fact, when the debit fee fiasco happened, I was solidly against Bank of America on that issue, as seen here.)

The problem that most people seem to face with this fraud alert is that they aren’t sure if the 315 or 866 numbers are real, and this article seeks to verify that those numbers are valid. If, however, the 315 number calls you and asks you for personal information, it could be spoofed. Typically that number is only used to alert you to call the 866 number.

We have received some reports that Bank of America has called from 302-731-1166. It appears in some cases this is a legit number, but it is also being spoofed by scammers. So how do you know if it’s real?

Bottom Line
If you receive a similar message and still aren’t comfortable – especially if they start asking for personal information – simply call Bank of America at the number on the back of your debit card.

For a another perspective on this process, I suggest reading this article.

Further Reading:

First published on July 7, 2012
Last updated on February 17, 2013

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28 Comments on Did You Receive a Bank of America Fraud Alert?

  1. Great article. Just spoke with Bank of America and tried to confirm this number as “theirs”. The CSR could not confirm that specific number, as “BoA has a series of numbers to mitigate call overload”, but you could call BoA’s Fraud department directly at (877)833-5617 … confirmed via their website.

  2. Just called my local BOA representative. They have a full history of every call BOA has made to me (and me to them). They confirmed that they NEVER made a call from that number: 315-724-4022. They informed me that their is no flag on my account and that this was most likely a spoofed call though a PBX system. They said I should always call them directly or drop by my local branch.

    Did you ask if they every called you from that number (even though you called the number back, since the scammer can’t force your phone to call them back at their number, since they can only spoof caller ID, not actually take over a number).

    Anyway. Rule of thumb. Never accept a phone call (or hang up the minute they ask for identifying information). Call your vendor back at a number you can trust (original back statements, or the back of your ATM or VISA card). Ask about recent call history (they log it ALL) and give them the number that called you. They can verify that is was them, or not. In my case 315-724-4022 was not them (even though it’s their number. Beware, phones and the internet run on some pretty old (phones 80+ years old, internet 50+ years old) technology and are easily exploited.

    • In my case, yes they did call from that number. But as you point out, and as we stated in the article, numbers can be spoofed, so it’s best to call them yourself.

  3. I received a message from BofA – did not ask for a call back, but stated that there has been a compromise and they have issued and sent me a new debit card.

    There has been a massive fraud issue here in St. Louis at the Schnuck’s grocery store chain. something like 2.5M cards compromised. I have been monitoring my accounts – but I’m glad that BofA just went ahead and did this proactively.

    • I got that same message – weird thing is that I haven’t banked with BOA for the past 5+ years… I called them and asked what might be happening and he said it was likely a fraudulent call and to go to my nearest branch to confirm.

    • Recieved the same call with same message. It is legit -in my case- because I know it is due to the Schnucks incident. BoA had already automatically sent me a replacement of my Credit Card a few weeks ago so I figured the debit card would be following shortly behind. What a mess all that Schnucks business has become. Ugh

  4. received text messages, about my card being lock need to call this number 727 861-7280. Funny thing is i don’t bank with bank of america. called tmobile and they walk e thur how to block and sent a message back to them to stop.

  5. They are also using phone numbers 877-248-6276 and 877-423-9596. My brother-in-law fell for it. They asked for his SS# and DOB so they can cancel his card. I had him place a fraud alert with the 3 credit bureaus.

  6. Regarding: 315-724-4022 and Bank of America

    The phone number that called was the same as the one on the back of their card (used for calling collect from outside the US 315-724-4022). i also got the same “your account has been compromised…and we are sending you a new card.” I just got off the ohone with BA. My account shows that Bank of America never called and my account is just fine. I asked if they were doing something to get some control over their phone system…apparently they just aren’t that concerned. But for what it’s worth, I did tell them that it’s frustrating as a customer to put up with this type of “junk” that seems relatively simple to correct.

    • If by “relatively simple to correct”, you mean redesign our country’s telcom infrastructure, you would be correct. However, it’s not that simple.

  7. Elmer R. Smith // May 23, 2013 at 10:00 am // Reply

    I received a call as to charges on my credit card. I did charge 3 or 4 charges that were on a bidding site. It was ZBIDDY. They were small amounts, under $10.00. The case #159158 did not work when I called the number 866-559-0025.

  8. Received call telling me to call 877-248-6276 with a message code (3 digits). I believed it was legit because my card had just been declined at a gas station. Removed the hold. It sure seems sketchy but it is indeed legit. Later, being suspicious, I called BOA and the representative confirmed that there had been a hold on my account as well as 877-248-6276 being a number for BOA message center.

  9. With all due respect, how is this ‘err on the side of safety’ a good thing? Your account and fraudulent transactions made against it are insured by the FDIC.

    This is ‘Loss Prevention’ in the crudest, ugliest terms. BofA isn’t protecting you and your assets, it’s protecting those of their shareholders.

    Don’t believe me? Travel to a foreign country and attempt to use your card. It will decline your transaction and lock your account. You will be given these numbers and codes to call. They will suggest that you get a new card sent to you, and you will have to strenuously argue otherwise. They will inform you that the account that was locked in milliseconds cannot be unlocked for ’2 business days’. You will discover the days turning into weeks in which you will be deprived of all of your money and dependent upon the generosity of others while a stranger in a strange land (While making daily calls to BofA, Visa, and your branch manager – to no avail.).
    Your trip will be ruined. You will return home and find a new card sitting in your mailbox (for anyone at home or the post office to intercept and activate).

    None of this will be due to no fault of your own. You will have done nothing wrong, but BofA will try to convince you otherwise at each frustrating step of the process.

    BEWARE

    • With all due respect to you Casper…. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act limits your liability for unauthorized transactions to $50 if your debit card was lost or stolen or you saw an unauthorized transaction from your account and you notify the bank within two business days. But if you wait more than two business days, you may be responsible for up to $500 or even more. – straight from FDIC Consumer News

      The belief that we as consumers have 0 responsibility is incorrect

      Bank of America was acting in your best interest. Did you notify Bank of America that you would be using your card while out of the country? If not, then of course this activity would be suspicious to Bank of America. Especially since most of our credit card numbers are stolen while making normal everyday purchases locally, online, or data breaches on companies that have consumer credit cards on file for monthly bill pay, then the numbers are bought/sold/traded to criminals who either use the number online or via telephone to make purchases or produce a clone card (if they have the capability)

      When you contacted the bank and they confirmed that the purchase attempts were in fact yours, you agreed to close that card down and have a new card (new account number) issued … or as you stated they suggested a new card despite your protests.. This would be a first for me and I work in a fraud department – not affiliated with any creditor or bank- but once it is confirmed that the activity was NOT fraud, banks will not usually “suggest” a new card number be issued.

      Once a bank cancels a card and issues a new card, again new account number, the old card is no longer valid and cannot be used.

      When the rep stated that a new card would be sent out to you, did you advise the rep of the date that you expected to return home? I have dealt with issues similar and when the bank is informed of the urgency and that the consumer is out of town/country, the creditors/banks will overnight the new card to your location -provided that you can answer a series of security questions a bit more in-depth than the average ones they ask when you normally contact the creditor/bank. If the creditor/bank does not send the new card overnight to your location then they will wait until you return before sending it out if you inform them to do so.

      I certainly hope that you have a trusted individual that picks up your mail or that you stop mal delivery while you are away for an extended amount of time. If not, I highly recommend doing so instead of letting any piece of mail SIT in your mailbox until your return.

      By the way, the replacement card could have been intercepted by anyone at home or the post office as you stated … even at the airport, while you were in town just as easily as when you were out of the country. This would be why the activation strip usually has the statement “activate from your home phone”. Just another way the big bad banks are not looking out for you.

  10. concerned citizen // July 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm // Reply

    1-800-971-8053
    8009718053

    Just got a call from these very OFFICIAL SOUNDING people. Said they were from Bank of America, and that there was a charge for $1,000′s of dollars on my account from a computer store!

    They called from an UNKNOWN NUMBER and then gave me 1-800-971-8053 to call back as their “Fraud Department”. Thank goodness the number had a strange recording & i couldn’t get through…they were FAKE and phishing!

    Called my real bank number, from my bank statement not the # they gave me, and they said i had NO SUCH CHARGES. How can criminals like this get away with pretending to be a bank?? They sounded completely legitimate.

    NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO CALLS YOU or gives you a phone number to call back. Only go to the original company, from your own source!

    ps – when I called Bank of America, they said 1-800-971-8053 is NOT one of their numbers. And they didn’t even care! They must get so much of these fake calls, they don’t even track them. Crazy.

  11. If you are paranoid, or even if you are just mildly concerned . . . close all your accounts at Bank of America and open accounts at a local credit union or other small FDIC insured institution. BofA is too large a target and cannot keep up with the increasing cyber-activity aimed at them. I am certain that someone cares at BofA but — as cynical as this sounds I have to say that — I simply have not found any of them when dealing with this kind of issue.

    I opened an account with a local credit union a few years back and kept my BofA account because they had my mortgage. I get spam, hoax text, and hoax calls all under the name of BofA. This has NEVER, never happened on my credit union account.

  12. working in a fraud department for the last 3 1/2 years, I have seen more than enough cases where consumers responded to emails or a texts from NOT ONLY Bank of America, but Chase, Citibank, Capital One, Citizen’s, etc. Bank of America is NOT the only big bank who’s name is utilized in these scams. the reason that the larger banks’ names are used it that the likelihood of having a consumer respond to the email is greater.

    if an identity thief sends out 3,000 text messages or emails claiming to be from Chase Bank, the probability that they will actually reach Chase Bank customers is higher since the bank is larger.

    This is in no way shape or form the large bank’s fault. The bottom line is to use common sense. All banks, credit unions, creditors will advise you that they will NEVER send email or text asking you to respond with your personal information.

    If you receive such an email, and you do not have an existing account with that institution, simply go to that bank/creditor website, pull up the “contact us” page and call them. Several of them will have an email address listed under “contact us” specifically for forwarding any suspicious emails. They (banks/creditors) want to be informed of these emails and texts in an effort to better protect their customers. I have never run into a rep from a large financial institution that was not interested or indifferent to the issue, but as in any situation, you may run into someone that does not want to do their job, is simply lazy or has had a rotten day and you just happened to call 5 minutes before their shift is up… who knows. Its not acceptable but it does happen, unfortunately.

    As far as Credit unions go, sorry but who do you think services the credit cards that the credit unions issue to their members? Look on the back of your credit union card, chances are pretty good that it will be MBNA FIA – the world’s largest independent credit card issuer which was acquired by Bank of America in 2006. Many credit unions and smaller banks’ credit card/ MC visa check cards are in fact MBNA / FIA serviced.

    credit unions are not immune, just do an internet search for credit union data breach and several will pop up. A credit union employee who is allowed to take home a company laptop and in their infinite wisdom decide to leave it in their car while they run into a grocery store or over night and the car window get smashed and the laptop is gone in a flash. There goes all the credit union’s customer’s information

    About a week ago I was assisting a consumer who’s husband’s information (name, date of birth, social security number) had been used to apply for credit cards and worse, payday loans, when she receive a text message from a federal credit union in regards to the detection of suspicious activity on her (non existent) account with them. It gave a contact number to call and a code I do believe. I called the contact number that I found on their website and there was a recorded message stating “If you received a text message from **** federal credit union…”

    It may not happen as often as the larger banks but it does happen. This particular text was not only sent out to non credit union members but to members as well.

    I am guessing that the ID thieves obtained the cell phone numbers to consumers in a particular area and used the credit union name instead of a larger bank thinking it would be more believable since there is that perception that credit unions are more secure somehow.

    The fact of the matter is that Identity theft /fraud is rapidly becoming more widespread.

    These criminals are coming up with different ways to obtain our personal information and using it to- open credit cards, file unemployment, use for employment, open cell phone and other utility accounts, file federal income taxes and receive refunds, apply for and obtain payday loans, open checking or savings account -to deposit payday loans, redirect social security, or other government benefits, have federal income tax returns deposited, or to transfer funds from your actual checking/savings/investment accounts into.

    Just use common sense and never share you personal information via text, email or telephone -if you did not initiate the call

    pay attention to your bank and credit card statements. Order your free credit reports once a year and review them for accuracy.

  13. This is a Scam: The BoA Fraud Dept has confirmed to me this morning that this is a Phishing Scam. If you have any problems, call BoA at 1.800.432.1000, and report these guys.

  14. Katherine P. Langbein // January 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm // Reply

    I received a call to contact you reguarding fraudulent charges on my account. To date, I have spent 1hour and 50 minutes waiting to talk to someone on the phone to no avail at 1-800-441-0130 to cancel my card. My phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX–when can someone talk to me regarding this issue????

  15. I manage a mailing list. Several messages have been sent to my mailing list citing “irregular activity” has been detected on the mailing list’s Bank of America online account. The contents of the messages were the same and a sample is shown below. The messages also included a .ZIP attachment.

    Obviously, the address of my mailing list is included in some mass mailing attempt to steal BOA online account info.

    I tried forwarding the messages to BOA’s fraud section, but the messages were rejected due to detection of a virus (probably the messages’ contents and attachments set off BOA’s spam alerts). ;-(

    Thanks,

    Milton

    —————–
    SUBJECT: Bank of America Alert: Online Banking Security Measures

    Bank of America – Irregular Account Activity

    Your online security is important to us. That is why we are committed to safeguarding your personal information to keep it secure and confidential.

    We detected irregular activity on your Bank of America online on 05/02/2014. For your protection, online banking has been locked because the number of attempts to sign in exceeded the number allowed.
    We are sorry to inform you that your online account has been temporarily locked after too many unsuccessful login attempts was made.

    Unfortunately, if we do not hear from you, certain limitations may be placed on your account.

    To strengthen the security measures protecting your account, we have added additional security. will review and verify the activity on your account with you and take necessary steps to protect your account from fraud.

    Please find attached file above, download the above secure form, and follow the instruction on your screen

    All transactions are backed by our Online Banking Security Guarantee.
    Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.

    ——————–

  16. I got a call today. They wanted my expiration date & CVN. My BS detector went off. Those 2 numbers are SECURITY ITEMS, not ID items. They got the date by I cancelled the call when they asked for the CVN.

    I’m going to the Bank today.

  17. I got a phone call, a text message, an email, and a Fraud Alert notice in my online banking message center – all at about the same time. Interesting that they had different phone numbers to report to, but I also recently bought Minecraft and this was legit. I am awaiting the arrival of a new card.

  18. I got a call today but didn’t answer. Called the bank directly and they asked for my card expiration date & CVN which doesn’t seem right at all.

    They’ve done this a few times so far while I’ve had my account, always on the weekend. Seems like they’re trying to prove that they’re on the ball, but when there actually was criminal activity on my account recently, NOTHING. The criminals drained my account with no alerts from Bank of American whatsoever, I discovered it myself.

  19. I work for the fraud dept and we do I repeat do ask for cvv and expiration. Fraudsters with ciuntefit cards have incorrect cvv info and we use a program to detect for validity. 90 percent of the calls I get I verify cvv and exp . And then people complain but I’m telling its legit and do not cuss us out for future ref. Just helping to keep or money secure.

  20. I read a comment from 2013 that said making a purchase on Facebook was their culprit…I just bought my daughter a Starbucks gc on Facebook, first time using their gift purchase feature, and now I’m getting a new card as well. I thought it was great and was making a list of who to send gifts to next. Why is Facebook still causing security breeches is my question; they can’t be trusted and now I must warn my friends not to copy me and send fb gifts. smh

  21. Bank of america has restricted my card because of facebook twice in a one month span. First time i confirmed my facebook ad charges and they still proceeded to cancel my card and mailed one to my address on file (no where near where i currently was) two weeks later (one week after i received my new card i registered it back on facebook ads and AGAIN my card was canceled! Get your shit together. I think its probably FACEBOOK’s problem because parents are disputing charges that their kids made.

    Facebook needs to separate there ad sales and the people buying stupid gifts on facebook.

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