Citibank Scams (5 Examples + How To Avoid Them)

whiteboard crypto logo
Published by:
Whiteboard Crypto

Citibank scams aim to steal personal information and financial details or even gain unauthorized access to your bank accounts.

Citibank scammers target customers through emails, calls, or texts, aiming to deceive you into revealing sensitive information like login credentials and banking details. They often use website manipulation and caller ID spoofing to mimic affiliation with Citibank or its services.

Being aware of the methods employed in these scams and knowing how to identify and avoid them is crucial to safeguarding your finances.

1) Debit Card Lock Scam

One day you can get a message telling you that Citibank has put a temporary lock on your debit card to shield you from possible fraud.

If you take the bait and click on the link provided, it leads you to a fake Citibank website, and before you know it, your login information is in the hands of cybercriminals.

The rule of thumb is to never jump the gun if you receive a text claiming your Citibank debit card is locked.

Always double-check any fraud alerts. The smart move is to independently try logging into your Citibank account. Use your mobile banking app or visit the official Citi Bank official website directly.

If the text message arrives from anything other than Citibank’s five-digit shortcode, which is 95686, you need to be suspicious. Genuine communication from Citibank about potential fraud will only come through this specific shortcode.

2) Tech Support Scam

You’re surfing the web and suddenly a message pops up on your computer screen. It claims to be from Citibank’s tech support, warning you that your account is in danger.

The message insists that immediate action is needed to secure your account. They even throw in a phone number, urging you to call for assistance.

As you converse with these impostors, they skillfully convince you to grant them remote access to your computer. It might seem innocent, but it’s a trap. Once they have control, they can go two nasty routes. 

First, they might pilfer personal information from your digital realm, an identity theft waiting to happen.

Alternatively, they might sneakily plant malware onto your device, a kind of digital spy that can infiltrate your bank accounts, passwords, and other sensitive data.

3) Fake Check Scam

Assume you decide to sell something online. You post your item, and soon enough, a buyer shows interest.

Everything seems routine until you receive a Citibank cashier’s check in the mail, and it’s not just for the agreed-upon price—it’s $3,000, exceeding the deal. The buyer, seemingly generous, asks you to refund the extra amount.

In good faith, you deposit the check into your bank account, and as requested, you refund the surplus money. All seems well until a bombshell drops.

Citibank reaches out to you, revealing that the cashier’s check is a forgery, a fake. Shock sets in as you realize you’ve been involved in a fake check scam. You are now held responsible for the entire $3,000. The money you thought you had, the extra amount you sent back to the buyer, all gone.

4) Investment Scams

Investment scams are sadly common, and often play on the desire for quick and substantial profits. As you embark on your investment journey, you encounter someone who presents themselves as a Citibank investment advisor.

The person, seemingly with all the financial wisdom, paints a tempting picture of high returns on investments. Enthusiastically, you decide to dive into the investment world, placing a significant sum into a scheme presented by this advisor.

You take the leap of faith, transferring your hard-earned money into what you believed was a golden opportunity. As soon as the money leaves your hands, the so-called advisor vanishes into thin air. Phone calls go unanswered, emails bounce back — it’s like they were never there.

5) Fake Prize or Lottery Scam

Scammers can call you to inform you that you’ve won a substantial prize or lottery sponsored by Citibank. To claim your prize, you need to pay taxes or a processing fee upfront.

Excited, you provide your bank details or send money as instructed, only to realize later that it was a scam and that you’ve lost funds. These scammers play on your dreams of hitting it big, creating a sense of urgency and excitement that clouds your judgment.

How To Identify Citibank Scams

The nature of Citibank scams varies, but they often involve tactics such as:

  • Impersonation – Scammers may pose as Citibank representatives, using official logos, language, or other elements to create a sense of authenticity. They might claim to be from customer service, technical support, or security departments to gain trust and credibility.
  • Urgency and fear tactics – If someone reaches out to you with a sense of urgency or fear by suggesting that your account is compromised, suspended, or involved in suspicious activity, just know that it could be a scam.
  • Phishing emails and calls – Fraudsters send emails or make phone calls claiming to be from Citibank requesting personal information, such as account numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers, under the guise of a security check or account verification.
  • Fake reward offers – They might ask for personal details to redeem fictitious rewards, aiming to steal sensitive information.
  • Social engineering – Scammers manipulate emotions or personal circumstances to persuade victims into disclosing confidential information or making financial transactions.
  • Money transfer fraud – Sometimes you might be tricked into transferring money by claiming it’s necessary to resolve an issue or secure your account.
  • Account takeover scams – Cyber Criminals may gain access to Citibank accounts through hacking or phishing. They change account information or initiate unauthorized transactions, leading to financial losses for the victim.
  • High-yield bond investment scam – High-yield bond investment scams promise high returns or exclusive investment opportunities affiliated with Citibank, aiming to obtain personal or financial details from potential investors.
  • ATM skimming – With ATM skimming, criminals install devices on ATMs to capture card information and PINs. They then use this information to make unauthorized transactions or create cloned cards, affecting Citibank customers who use compromised machines.
  • Fake job offer scams – You might receive job offers claiming to be from Citibank, requesting personal information or payment for training materials or background checks. These fake job offers deceive you into providing sensitive information or money.

How To Avoid Citibank Scams

To safeguard yourself from falling victim to Citibank scams, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Set strong, complex passwords for your accounts – Create unique passwords for your Citibank accounts that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid easily guessable information such as birthdays or common words. Change your passwords periodically to enhance security.
  • Always update your computer and mobile device software – Regularly update your devices’ operating systems, antivirus software, and applications to patch security vulnerabilities. Updates often contain fixes for known security issues, reducing the risk of exploitation by scammers.
  • Change your online user ID and password periodically – Periodically changing your user ID and password adds an extra layer of security. Ensure these credentials are unique and not easily guessable. Avoid using the same login details across multiple accounts.
  • Shop online with your safety in mind – When shopping online, use trusted websites with secure payment methods. Look for ‘’HTTPS’’ in the website address and a padlock icon in the browser to ensure a secure connection.
  • Refrain from sharing any of your personal information – Be careful about sharing personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or login credentials, especially in response to unsolicited emails or calls. Citibank won’t ask for sensitive information via email or phone calls.
  • Be careful when downloading programs or apps – Download software and apps only from reputable sources such as official app stores or the official Citibank website.
  • Never click suspicious links in unsolicited emails – Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in unsolicited emails, especially if they seem suspicious or come from unknown senders. These links may lead to phishing websites or malware downloads.
  • Identify the identity of your caller – Verify the identity of anyone claiming to be from Citibank by asking for their name, department, and contact information. Hang up and call the official Citibank phone number to confirm the authenticity of the caller and the purpose of the call.
  • Use secure internet connection – Avoid accessing your Citibank accounts or conducting financial transactions over public Wi-Fi networks. Use a secure, password-protected network or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for added security.
  • Use two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security – Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This adds an additional step to the login process, typically requiring a code sent to your mobile device, enhancing the security of your accounts.

Scammers have a keen eye on your bank account, always on the lookout for fresh approaches, loopholes, and scams to get their hands on your hard-earned money.

As a CitiBank customer, understanding that scammers are relentless in their pursuit of accessing your funds is paramount. 

Whether it’s through deceptive tech support claims, phony check dealings, or enticing investment promises, their goal remains the same – to get hold of your cash.

An effective way to avoid CitiBank scams is to remain vigilant, question unexpected messages or offers, and always double-check before making financial decisions.

whiteboard crypto logo

WhiteboardCrypto is the #1 online resource for crypto education that explains topics of the cryptocurrency world using analogies, stories, and examples so that anyone can easily understand them. Growing to over 870,000 Youtube subscribers, the content has been shared around the world, played in public conferences and universities, and even in Congress.