Sheriff issues Bank of America scam alert

Sheriff John Anderson is issuing an alert to all citizens who bank online. “If you receive an email with a warning, and request to open an attachment from what (at first glance) might appear to come from a reputable financial institution, do not open it.”

Just this morning a citizen sent Sheriff Anderson a suspicious email, generated from an address that purports to be Bank of America.

The sender, “,” issued a letter, headlined, “Unauthorized activity on your online account,” which, in part, advises the recipient that after several failed attempts to provide answers to security questions, the account has been temporarily suspended. To clear up the matter, the sender instructs the recipient to open up an attachment, titled, “Validation Form.”

If Bank of America ever issues you an alert, it instructs you to either call them, or contact them through your existing secured online account – NEVER via email.

Below is the bogus email sent to the Sheriff’s Office this morning:

Dear Customer,

We have recently detected several failed attempts to provide the correct answers to your security questions.

As a result, we have temporarily suspended your online access and we need to go through some verification.

To begin please download the attached file below and start with the verification procedure.

Bank of America safeguards your account whenever there isa possibility that someone else is attempting to sign in.

Please understand that this form must be completed within 24 hours.

This is our security measure intended to help and protect you and your account.

Thank you for your cooperation and we deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

© 2014 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

-Madera County Sheriff's Department