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Should I check into this more....

Dr. J 2,655 December 22, 2011 at 04:28 PM
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I do nearly all my banking with BoA - checking, savings, mortgage, auto loan, brokerage, etc, and I also use their online banking portal quite a bit.

Well I was perplexed when I received an email saying that my new credit card was on its way and I could activate it online! Now I *did* have a BoA CC a number of years ago, but haven't had one in a long time. The email was sent to someone with my same last name but a different first name (although the first letter of the first name is the same), although my email address is my: first name.initial.last name. So, I find it unlikely that the address was accidentally entered.

I called BoA within an hour of getting the email and talk to the fraud dept - they say there is no record of any CC or an application under my name or SS#, and cross-referencing the name given in the email and the last 4 digits of the account # (all that was listed in the email), yields zero results. Checking online, there are no credit accounts in my profile, and checking the status of credit applications (generic link in their site where you enter your SS#, and some other generic info) also gives zero results for credit apps under my SS#.

You're thinking - this is a phishing scheme, right? I don't think so - all the links in the email point to variants of bankofamerica.com. That was the CSR's best idea.

I'll certainly be watching my online account - what could have caused this? Is there anything else I should do? I'm not sure who else @ BoA I could try to contact - I had hoped that they'd be able to look up the other name and last 4 digits and say "oh yeah somehow the email address is wrong", but "we have no record of this" doesn't give me warm fuzzies.

14 Comments

1

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#2
Is your credit frozen?

I'm not a computer expert, but I still think it's a phishing scam. From what I understand, criminals can make a link seem like it's going to a particular legitimate website when, in fact, they're redirecting you to their website without you knowing it.
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#3
credit not frozen.
links direct to:
www.bankofamerica.com
OR
click.emcom.bankofamerica.com

looking at the headers in the email, of which I am not an expert, I get these IP's:
10.204.53.71- private
10.68.213.229 - private
68.232.194.4 - ExactTarget, Inc.
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#4
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
credit not frozen.
links direct to:
www.bankofamerica.com
OR
click.emcom.bankofamerica.com

looking at the headers in the email, of which I am not an expert, I get these IP's:
10.204.53.71- private
10.68.213.229 - private
68.232.194.4 - ExactTarget, Inc.
Normally, I'd say it is possible that someone has taken out a card using your identity, but you said you talked to Bank of America and they said this has not happened. So, with that said, my initial instinct still says it's a phishing scam, but I could certainly be wrong.

Regardless of how this pans out moving forward, I'd freeze my credit immediately with all three credit bureaus.
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#5
Well I didn't click on anything in the email or enter any information. checking my online account gives no results for credit cards, nor any messages from CS. I'll try to go into a branch tomorrow and talk to someone face to face and see if I get a different answer.

While I would go for a freeze, it's not something that takes place immediately, and it requires all sorts of verification and in some cases fees - IOW I don't want to jump to conclusions if there's a simpler answer here.
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#6
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Well I didn't click on anything in the email or enter any information. checking my online account gives no results for credit cards, nor any messages from CS. I'll try to go into a branch tomorrow and talk to someone face to face and see if I get a different answer.

While I would go for a freeze, it's not something that takes place immediately, and it requires all sorts of verification and in some cases fees - IOW I don't want to jump to conclusions if there's a simpler answer here.
Credit freezes and thaws done online take about 15 seconds to take effect (as long as 5 business days if done in writing). The actual process of freezing your credit is very easy and takes less than 2 minutes.

Freezing your credit is not a negative, it's a huge positive and the number one thing you can do to protect your identity. With your credit frozen, you can rest easy knowing that criminals cannot steal your identity. Freezing your credit shuts would-be criminals down cold.

You can freeze your credit online at Equifax [equifax.com], TransUnion [transunion.com], and Experian [experian.com].
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#7
I would forward the e-mail to BOA's fraud department and just let them deal with it - that way they have proof and information to investigate, and if something does occur, it would be pretty easy to prove that it wasn't you who opened the card, since they would have the e-mail as well

edit: forward address [bankofamerica.com]: abuse@bankofamerica.com
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#8
Second update (email I just received):

--------------------------------
Account Alert

We have payment options to help you get back on track.

Dear So and So:

We noticed that your account ending in 4216 is currently one payment(s) past due. We understand that unexpected circumstances can cause financial difficulty and we may have options to help make your future payments more manageable. If you have already made your payment, thank you. If you have not made your payment, please see the variety of convenient options available to you:

Set up an automatic monthly payment on your due date, simply visit us online at bankofamerica.com/choosedirectdebit and complete the required information.
Make your payment online by visiting us at bankofamerica.com.
Make your payment over the phone by calling us toll-free at 1.888.339.6262, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mail your payment to Bank of America, PO Box 15019, Wilmington, DE 19850-5019.
Bank of America provides our customers with options to assist them in repaying their debt. By contacting us today, we may be able to work out a short or long-term solution that meets your financial needs. These solutions may provide a lower monthly payment.

--------------------------------

So I checked my BA site again, no CC's. I checked my credit - score still fine, no entries for a CC. I check with BA phone CSR and no CC's. WTF?

Update.... got a CSR that evidently is better at working the computer system. He was able to find a person with the exact name in the email with a CC account with the same 4 last digits. Cross-referencing the email addresses and the other guy has an aol account and mine is gmail. He said the socials are no where near the same and we live "very far apart". SO it seems that somewhere in BoA's system, wires were crossed and somehow my email address is on this guy's account.
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#9
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Second update (email I just received):

--------------------------------
Account Alert

We have payment options to help you get back on track.

Dear So and So:

We noticed that your account ending in 4216 is currently one payment(s) past due. We understand that unexpected circumstances can cause financial difficulty and we may have options to help make your future payments more manageable. If you have already made your payment, thank you. If you have not made your payment, please see the variety of convenient options available to you:

Set up an automatic monthly payment on your due date, simply visit us online at bankofamerica.com/choosedirectdebit and complete the required information.
Make your payment online by visiting us at bankofamerica.com.
Make your payment over the phone by calling us toll-free at 1.888.339.6262, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mail your payment to Bank of America, PO Box 15019, Wilmington, DE 19850-5019.
Bank of America provides our customers with options to assist them in repaying their debt. By contacting us today, we may be able to work out a short or long-term solution that meets your financial needs. These solutions may provide a lower monthly payment.

--------------------------------

So I checked my BA site again, no CC's. I checked my credit - score still fine, no entries for a CC. I check with BA phone CSR and no CC's. WTF?

Update.... got a CSR that evidently is better at working the computer system. He was able to find a person with the exact name in the email with a CC account with the same 4 last digits. Cross-referencing the email addresses and the other guy has an aol account and mine is gmail. He said the socials are no where near the same and we live "very far apart". SO it seems that somewhere in BoA's system, wires were crossed and somehow my email address is on this guy's account.
Thats scary their systems could even make that mistake.
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#10
Quote from nizzy1115 View Post :
Thats scary their systems could even make that mistake.
My bet is on a human making that mistake.
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#11
Quote from Samstag View Post :
My bet is on a human making that mistake.
There should be no human needed for data entry of this at all.
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#12
Quote from nizzy1115 View Post :
There should be no human needed for data entry of this at all.
A human typed in an email address at some point in the process. It's much more likely that the other account holder or a CS rep had a brain fart and typed username@gmail.com (which is a very common domain) instead of username@aol.com (which could lead to mistakes after recovering from fits of laughter).

Humans make these kinds of mistakes a lot more often than software.
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#13
Quote from Samstag View Post :
A human typed in an email address at some point in the process. It's much more likely that the other account holder or a CS rep had a brain fart and typed username@gmail.com (which is a very common domain) instead of username@aol.com (which could lead to mistakes after recovering from fits of laughter).

Humans make these kinds of mistakes a lot more often than software.

I don't know what the nature of the OTHER email address is but our first and middle names are not the same (or similar) and my email contains both my first name and middle initial, so it's unlikely that it was a simple domain switch.
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#14
Did you run a virus scan yet and can you show us a picture of this e-mail?
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#15
I received the same email last week - about someone opening a credit card account ending in 3552. Previous to that, I received an email thanking me for calling customer service twice. I called b of a had them run my ssn and no accounts showed up.

I don't think it could be an accidental use of my email because my email is very very very unqiue (not a name).However, I am sure i used this email back in 2006 when i did have an account with b of a.

I think it is a phishing attack from data some criminals stole from b of a.

will be freezing my credit as a precaution.

i did click on the link on my phone... does anyone know if that does anything? the links, as the OP stated, go to trhe actual bankofamerica.com homepage (in the header too!).
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