Latest scam, phishing pose as national banks to rip you off

May 28, 2014
Santa Paula News

They’reeee back - more likely they never went away, but are recycling their efforts to rip off your cash, credit or identity.

A recent rash of fraudulent emails being reported center on national banks and it doesn’t even matter if you even have an account with the institution.

Scammers are prowling for your cash, credit or identity by claiming there is a problem with your bank account and they threaten to deny access to service as a way to panic intended victims into doing something risky.

Bank of America has been victimized with an email that doesn’t even bother to look legitimate by copying the company’s logo, font and other identifying benchmarks.

The simple email claims to be from and has an attachment the sender is hoping people will be fooled into downloading. The subject line ominously notes “Account Requires Complete Profile Update” and the email reads: 

“Dear Customer,

We have recently detected that different computer user had attempted gaining access to your Online account and multiple password was attempted with your Online ID.

It is now necessary to re-confirm your account information to us. 

Note: If this process is not completed within 24-48 hours we will be forced to suspend your Account Online Access as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes. 

Please update profile immediately by downloading the attached file.

Thank you for being a valued customer.

Completion of this update will avoid any possible problems with your account.


Bank of America Customer Service Team.”

Of course downloading the attached file would be a disaster: malware (short for malicious software) is any software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems.

If you receive a suspicious email that uses Bank of America’s name, forward it to them immediately at

Chase Bank has also been the subject of faux emails seeking personal information, a practice known as phishing.

It you have a Chase account the subject line on the email, “Chase Online Warning #1389” will certainly grab your attention; the email is listed as from “Chase Online”.

This email also does not have any Chase Bank identifying logos or fonts.

The message notes “We identified activity on your account that may be fraudulent and ask you verify the activity immediately. We have attempted to contact you via phone at the number you provided on your account and have been unable to reach you and/or left a message. If you have already responded to our phone call, please disregard this message.

For your protection, transactions on your account may be limited until you are able to verify the activity. We realize that this precaution may cause you some inconvenience; however keeping your account safe is one of our top priorities. Log on to our website to rectify this on

We need you to update your account information for your online banking to be re-activated.

Please update your billing information today by clicking here Chase Online

Please don’t reply directly to this automatically-generated e-mail message.”

The missive might seem legitimate because it offers a direct link to sign in to your account, but if you do click on the page will not work. Naturally scammers are counting on people to click on the ChaseOnline link also referenced.

The good news is someone beat the scammers to it because if you do click through you’ll find ChaseOnline is a dead end, the page even noting “This company and website is in no way related to any financial institution.”

If you receive an email you believe is fraudulent from Chase forward it to  

Never reply to an email claiming to be from your bank, credit card carrier or the government such as Social Security. Although the recent Bank of America and Chase Bank scams did not even attempt to look legitimate, often crooks will go out of their way to make their communications look authentic.

If you are ever contacted regarding financial or personal information either online of by phone, do not reply... rather, call the number on the back of your credit card, call the bank or call a government office to determine if they are trying to contact you.

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