Anatomy of an imposter scam banner

We expect banks and brokers to keep our money safe. We think they’ll stop or warn us about suspicious transfers out of our accounts. But do they? Scammers are exploiting that trust and getting people to transfer their money and drain their retirement accounts to “protect” or “safeguard” or “legalize” it. The truth? The money gets stolen, and banks and brokers won’t get it back from the scammer.

Lots of financial ads talk about “zero liability” for fraud, so it’s easy to think your bank accounts and retirement funds are covered too. Think again. Bank accounts have different (and fewer) protections than credit cards:

  • If you are scammed into moving your money out of your account, you won’t be protected if it turns out to be a scam. And you probably won’t get that money back.
  • If you transfer your life savings into a cryptocurrency wallet because someone told you to, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
  • If you liquidate your retirement account and hand the cash over to someone else, the bank will not reverse the transaction. No matter how much you need your life savings, it’s gone.

If someone tells you to move your money to “protect” it, that’s outright theft. Remember:

  • If it involves your bank account, retirement account, or life savings: stop. Hang up the phone. Call your bank or broker directly using a number you KNOW is right — not the number the caller used or gave you.
  • Tell someone. Scammers want to isolate you from people you know and trust. Never agree to keep a secret — especially if you’re scared and worried. Always tell a family member or friend you trust — they care and can help.
  • Listen and share. The bank teller or employee might not know you, but they do know the signs of fraud. If they ask, share why you're withdrawing cash. Let them help you figure out what's really going on.
  • Don’t lie. The scammer, who might even try to keep you on the phone, will tell you to lie, so the bank won’t stop your transfer. Do not lie to avoid the bank’s security department.

Remember, if you get a call, email, or text message from someone you think is trying to scam you, report it as soon as you can to the FTC at

Scammers want to isolate you from people you know and trust. Never agree to keep a secret.


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Submitted by Shelia Holmes on March 13, 2024 | 2:42PM


My identity was stolen, and there's a lot that I have lost. There's this lady that opened multiple bank accounts at different banks all while she moved a mobile home on my land. I have been defrauded out of my property that she's living on with her boyfriend.

Submitted by Jonathan Mullins on March 27, 2024 | 12:18AM


Go2Bank has been holding my money for a few years now and said I would be getting a check in the mail in two weeks when I made my complaint and I have lost around 10,000 dollars for this bank account being hacked and the company just closed it out and said I never had a account with them but I have emails and bank cards and account info for the accounts I have had with them so don't use GO2BANK ALSO KNOWN AS GREEN DOT