About Bank Account Takeover Fraud (Scams)
A bank account takeover (BATO) phone scam is a type of fraud in which the scammer calls the victim and pretends to be from their bank. The scammer may say that there is suspicious activity on the victim’s account and that they need to verify the victim’s information in order to protect their account. The scammer will then ask the victim for their personal information, such as their Social Security number, bank account number, and PIN. Once the scammer has this information, they can use it to access the victim’s bank account and steal their money.
BATO phone scams are becoming increasingly common. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 3.3 million reports of fraud involving imposter scams, which include Bank Account Takeover phone scams. These scams cost victims billions of dollars each year.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from BATO phone scams:
- Never give out your personal information over the phone, unless you are sure that you are speaking to a legitimate representative from your bank. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank, hang up and call the bank’s customer service number yourself to verify the caller’s identity.
- Be suspicious of calls that come out of the blue. If you receive a call from someone you don’t know, especially if they ask for personal information, be careful. Don’t give out any information until you are sure that the caller is legitimate.
- Be aware of the signs of a scam. If the caller is pressuring you to act quickly, or if they are asking for personal information that you don’t normally provide, be suspicious.
- If you think you may have been the victim of a BATO phone scam, report it to your bank & local police immediately. You should also report the scam to the FBI & FTC – learn more at reporting.AgainstScams.org