Scam Alert: CitiBank Phishing Emails & Phone Calls
Matt here, with the AllClear Investigation team. Most people are well aware of the variety of phishing scams out there. “Phishing” is attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication or over the phone.
A popular financial institution being used for a recent scam is Citibank. There are many reports already out regarding hoards of phishing emails supposedly from Citibank, which supplement the large number of customers who have reported these to us. These emails claim that, due to multiple failed login attempts, the account holder must confirm account information or the account will be suspended indefinitely. The unsuspecting Citibank customer will then click on the link provided which routes them to a website that the scammers have created. This website looks like the legitimate Citibank website and asks for personal information which can then be harvested by the scammers and used for credit card fraud and identity theft.
A brand new scam that we've found with our customers involves phishing phone calls has now been popping up. The victim will receive several phone calls pretending to be from Citibank. They will leave a voicemail asking for a call back to discuss “your Citibank account”. These phone calls will be sent out by the thousands, and at least a few of them will reach actual Citibank customers. When the victim calls back the number provided, they hear a recording that sounds identical to the recording you would hear when you call the real Citibank. It will say “Thank you for calling Citi cards, servicing Citi and AT&T Universal card accounts. For assistance in English press one.” “This call may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance. “ It will then ask you “to expedite the handling of your call by typing in your 16 digit account number”. Once you have typed it in, the phone disconnects. Now the scammers have taken your credit card information and soon after will be maxing out your account.
To protect against either of these types of scams, just always remember that legitimate companies do not do business this way. If you ever receive an email or phone call saying that there is a problem with one of your accounts, do not follow the steps that you are instructed to follow. Instead, call the phone number listed on the back of your credit or debit card. The customer service representative on the other end will be able to tell you if there is actually a problem with your account.