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Are You Sure That’s Your Bank Reaching Out?


Here at the Fraud Watch Network, we’re seeing a rise in scammers posing as banks or other financial institutions with the hope of stealing sensitive information – including your account information or Social Security number. These ploys occur by phone, email and text.

How It Works:

  • By phone, a call from someone claiming to be with your bank or other financial institution warns of suspicious account activity. They may even have some personal information, like the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • By email, you receive a message that looks legitimate – complete with the bank’s logo, directing you to click a link to take care of an urgent matter.
  • By text, a message seemingly from your bank urges you to click a link to address an issue.

What You Should Know:

  • Between social media and data breaches, there’s enough information floating around to help a scammer craft a personalized message that seems entirely legitimate.
  • Scammers often use scare tactics to get us to react emotionally – like claiming they have detected fraud on our account – making it difficult to access our logical thinking processes.

What You Should Do:

  • Greet any message from your bank with caution – ask yourself, “Would my bank really text me?”
  • If you do get an email, a text or a phone call claiming to be from your bank, don’t interact. Look at an account statement or the back of your credit or debit card for a number you can call to determine if the bank is trying to reach you.
  • If you, like so many others, are now banking online, protect your accounts by using unique passwords, opting for your bank’s app if available for added security, and enabling two-factor authentication – the bank will send you a one-time code when logging in to ensure it’s you accessing the account.

Knowledge gives you power over scams. The AARP Fraud Watch Network equips you with reliable, up-to-date insights, and connects you to our free fraud helpline so you can better protect yourself and loved ones. We also advocate at the state, federal, and local levels to enact policy changes that protect consumers and enforce laws. With AARP as your partner, you’ll stay a step ahead of scammers.

Become a Digital Fraud Fighter!
Are you active on social media? Do you enjoy sharing information that can help prevent friends and family from falling victim to scams? Become a volunteer AARP Fraud Watch Network (FWN) Digital Fraud Fighter! Interested? Send us a note at for more information!

Get Help
To report a scam or for help if you or a loved one has fallen victim, contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline. CALL 877-908-3360

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