January 10, 2009

Scam Alert : W-9 Email From Bank of America

It's Tax Season and Scammers and Phishers are taking advantage of everyones dilerium to trick us into giving them our secured informations like this email that I got posing as Bank of America asking me to submit my TIN or SSN by filling up the link to W-9 so that my account will not be subjected to U.S. tax reporting and federal backup withholding at a rate of 28% on interest paid to my account. Sounds really convincing...

Looking at the email it does look legit. But why would Bank of America ask for my TIN or SSN when they already have it on file from the first time I opened up my account? My guts were telling me this wasn't right. And when you feel this way, trust your instinct RIGHT AWAY! I researched online last night for confirmation and amazingly, 75% say it's valid. It's Legit! but without valid confirmation from the bank itself- Then 25% say it is a Scam! There was no sense of validation to any of this ratings or where they got the info from! For all I know the people who said it's valid may be the same person scamming us all! I opted to TRUST MY INSTINCT!

Today, I called the Customer Service number on the back of my card to get real answers and TRUE ENOUGH, the EMAIL WAS NOT from Bank of America and I was told to forward the email to abuse@bankofamerica.com. IT IS A SCAM!

Don't Be FoOLed!

Legit Email from Bank of America below:

Rule of Thumb : When in doubt, trust your instinct and get the answer straight from the alleged source. You're doing yourself a BIG favor!

Bank of America quickly responded to my email along with useful tips!

Some things to keep in mind regarding fraudulent emails:
  • Unlike phishing emails, we will never ask you to verify personal information in response to an email
  • Most fake communications convey a sense of urgency by threatening discontinued service
  • Many fraudulent emails contain misspellings, incorrect grammar, and poor punctuation
  • Links within the fake email may appear valid, but deliver you to a fraudulent site
  • Phishing emails often use generic salutations like “Dear Customer,” or “Dear account holder” instead of your name
  • The address from which the email was sent is often not one from the company it claims to be
Inform others. Let's spread the word: Please Tweet or Re-post.


  1. that is so true! i got caught in one about ten years ago and it was such a mess!!!! thanks for posting this really important info! happy saturday!

  2. Glad you didn't fall for it, as many people do!
    When I reported a similar type phising e-mail to my bank, they told me to never ever follow a link out of an e-mail. Always, always go directly to your bank's site -- typing in the banks URL yourself into your browers... to make sure you are really there, and haven't been taken to some fake site. Some of the fake sites look very convincing....

  3. Great Info, thanks for spreading the word. Such scumbags. I have to get back to work w/the dress shopping, it's tough being a stylist.

  4. Thanks for the warning!!!!! I had a bad situation recently too. What a pain!

  5. I get a lot of this type of thing too. I just delete everything that asks me for personal information. If I ever have a question about it, I look up the number myself (I don't use the one in the email) and then I check with the company directly.

  6. great post...thanks for all the info and pictures. I will never give any info..if not sure you can always call!

  7. Thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to pass this on to those I know who use this bank.

  8. We had this kind of scam before and all the banks rushed to remind all clients not to do what's been said in the mail. Even Paypal suffered the same bluff.

  9. OH MAN...I hate those scam emails from Bank of america. It makes me ignore almost anything I get that says it's from them. I worry that someday that will bite me in the rump when it really is from them. LOL

    Have a great day!

  10. Wow, thanks for the heads up. And thanks for leaving the sweet comment on my blog the other day! I hope we can be great bloggy friends too!

  11. That's just crazy. Thanks for the reminder especially now with tax season approaching.

    And yes, that's the new tattoo in my side bar. You can't tell in the picture, but it's on my inner right ankle. :o)

    Hope you have a great rest of the weekend and a good Monday!

  12. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! Another good site to stop by whenever you want to check out whether e-mails are true is snopes.com. It's reliable at debunking silly things that circulate on e-mail. PayPal is another common victim of the phishing you experienced, so be careful if you get e-mails that appear to be from them.

  13. Thanks for sharing this information. Have you heard of http://www.annualcreditreport.com? I've been getting the word out about that so that people won't be confused with the one that charges $15. I check my credit every year to make sure everything is correct. At http://www.annualcreditreport.com, the government has allowed us to get one free credit report a year from all three major credit agencies.

  14. Great info, I actually just got one of these via regular mail! B of A letterhead, asking for my ss# to verify a taxpayer id number. A very convincing letter complete with an actual W-9 form.

    I called the customer service number on their actual website rather than what was in the letter to verify. They told me real bank of america reps would never request that information as they already have it on file.

    So glad I called!

  15. I received a W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification letter requesting I provide my SS# and signature.

    It looked sketchy since I couldn't locate the address from any Bank of America website.

    The return address is going to:

    Bank of America
    Tax Reporting
    PO BOX 100289
    COLUMBIA, SC 29202-3289


    1. Actually, I just had to speak to Bank of America regarding a W-8BEN form that I have to send every 3 years.
      The tax reporting mailing address that you quote here is genuine. It is the same one that the Bank of America representative gave me!


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