Wells Fargo Scams (6 Examples + How To Avoid Them)

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Wells Fargo is among the most reputable banks in the world. Despite its positive reputation, Wells Fargo faces challenges from individuals who try to deceive and steal from its customers.

Wells Fargo scams are getting better by day as scammers come up with all manner of tricks to lure their victims into accessing their online bank accounts and/or giving up sensitive information.

Boasting a vast customer base, the bank attracts all sorts of imposters, always trying to target victims with phishing emails, phone calls and fake texts.

1) “Glue and Tap” Scams On ATMs

The “glue and tap” scam involves Wells Fargo ATMs. Kate experienced this firsthand when her card wouldn’t work at an ATM in Austin, Texas.

A seemingly helpful stranger advised her to use the tap feature, and it miraculously worked. Little did she know, the next day her account had three unauthorized withdrawals amounting to $1040.

When you come across an ATM with a malfunctioning card reader, always proceed with caution. Instead of attempting to use it, find another machine to ensure the safety of your transactions.

Scammers might intentionally damage card readers to set up their trap. While many people are genuinely helpful, exercise caution if a stranger comes to your aid whenever you encounter a broken card reader.

In the “glue and tap” scam, these seemingly helpful individuals might be part of the scheme. If someone advises you to tap your card in such a situation, think twice before following their suggestion.

2) Fake Fraud Alert Text Messages

Some text messages can try to trick you into revealing sensitive information! Such texts claim there’s been suspicious activity on your account, like a failed login attempt from an unknown device.

They suggest that you can safeguard your account by clicking on a provided link. The link leads to a cunningly curated fake website controlled by the scammer.

Authentic messages from your bank should have personalized information. If the text only includes the first few digits of your access card without any personal details, it’s likely a scam.

Genuine alerts would confirm specific account-related information. Hover your cursor over any provided link (if you’re on a computer). Genuine links should lead to the official website of your bank.

If the URL doesn’t match the official site, it’s probably a fake. For instance, a message claiming to be from Wells Fargo might have a deceptive link like “WellsFargoFake.com” – or even more sneaky “welsfargo.com”.

3) Account Blocked Message

Scams that claim your account is blocked and needs verification to regain access are common. They start with deceptive emails or texts, asserting that you must confirm your account details for various reasons, such as regaining access or qualifying for special offers.

In reality, fraudsters aim to trick you into calling a provided number, where they can manipulate you over the phone, pressuring you into revealing passwords or making unauthorized money transfers.

Learn from the unfortunate experience of Christine, an 82-year-old who fell victim to scammers posing as Wells Fargo representatives. Christine, struggling to pay bills, received a call offering her a $5,000 loan. All she had to do was verify her account, and trusting the supposed representative, she lost all her money.

A reputable bank cannot reach out unexpectedly, especially if you don’t have an account with them. If you receive unsolicited messages claiming issues with your Wells Fargo account, treat them with suspicion.

Scammers thrive on curiosity. They intentionally provide vague details about why your account is supposedly blocked, hoping you’ll respond to seek more information. Be wary of messages that lack specific and clear explanations.

4) “Did You Attempt A Zelle Payment?”

Scams involving Zelle payments are on the rise. If the alleged transaction doesn’t appear on your account, it’s likely a scam. Ignore the message and take the extra step of blocking the phone number to prevent further attempts.

Wells Fargo messages come from specific shortcodes: 93557, 93733, 93729, 93767, and 22981. Take note of these numbers.

Representatives from the company will never ask you to transfer money, especially not to yourself or a supposed “safe account.” Any request to make such transactions is a clear indication of a scam.

Authentic bank communications prioritize your security rather than encourage questionable money movements. Whenever in doubt, contact Wells Fargo directly using official contact information to verify the legitimacy of any communication.

5) Fake Accounts Using Your Info

Scammers create fake accounts using stolen details to set up a fake profile within your bank account. They pose as an authorized user and manipulate banks into approving transactions.

A couple’s near-loss of their life savings amounting to $68,000 serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers.

Regularly check your online banking account for any unfamiliar or suspicious activity. Familiarizing yourself with the menu options and review profile settings goes miles to help you recognize potential red flags before they escalate. Reporting suspicious activity promptly can prevent further harm.

Make use of the alert features that Wells Fargo provides. Configure email, text, or push notifications to receive real-time updates on account activities, especially for transactions exceeding a predefined limit.

Swift notifications empower you to take immediate action if you detect any unauthorized access or transactions. You can also stay one step ahead of scammers by changing your passwords monthly.

Such a proactive measure adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. Using a password manager simplifies the process of generating and storing complex passwords for each account, eliminating the need to remember them all.

6) Accidental Payment Scams

Sometimes you can receive a sudden deposit from an unknown source. Always be careful especially if it’s a substantial amount. When in doubt, reach out directly to the Wells Fargo fraud department for guidance on how to proceed. Always question unexpected windfalls to ensure they’re genuine.

If someone claims to have paid too much and suggests you keep a portion of the money, you should consider it a scam. Genuine transactions don’t involve such arrangements.

Verify the situation with your bank and refrain from complying with any requests until you’ve confirmed the authenticity. Review all recent transactions and transfers between your accounts. If you identify any unfamiliar or suspicious transactions, it could be an indication of unauthorized access.

How To Avoid Wells Fargo Scams

Don’t rely on caller ID – Be careful of scammers that can manipulate caller ID to display “Wells Fargo.” Caller ID alone may not be a reliable indicator of the caller’s legitimacy.

Don’t respond to uninitiated transaction requests – If you receive a one-time access code for a transaction you didn’t initiate, refrain from using or sharing the code, even if someone claims to be from your bank. One-time access codes are confidential and should never be shared.

Ignore payment requests claiming to help you solve problems – Wells Fargo will never instruct you to send money, even to yourself, to resolve issues like reversing a transfer or receiving a refund. If corrections are necessary, the bank has access to your account information and will handle it securely.

Avoid sharing private account information – Keep in mind that genuine Wells Fargo employees will never ask for sensitive information like your PIN, password, or one-time access codes. Safeguard this information and never share it, as it should remain strictly private.

When in doubt, hang up and contact directly – If you encounter a suspicious phone call or text that seems like bank spoofing, hang up immediately. Do not respond to suspicious texts. Instead, reach out to Wells Fargo directly using verified and legitimate sources such as the phone number on your card, wellsfargo.com, or the Wells Fargo Mobile® app.

What If You Responded To A Wells Fargo Scam?

Assuming you’ve encountered a Wells Fargo scam text – it happens, but don’t worry! There are plenty of options to safeguard yourself.

If you accidentally clicked on a link in the deceptive text, the first crucial step is not to panic. Scammers thrive on fear, so staying calm is your best defense.

Right from the onset, avoid sharing any personal information such as your Social Security Number or credit card details. Close the webpage that you opened through the link.

By doing this, you’re minimizing potential damage and cutting off the scam at its roots. I’d also recommend you run a malware scan on your device.

If in the unfortunate event you find yourself in a situation where you’ve entered your Wells Fargo account information on a phishing site, the primary thing to do is block your debit or credit card using the official Wells Fargo app or website.

Utilize another device with Virtual Private Network (VPN) protection to securely transfer all your money. Choose a trusted account, like that of a spouse or parent, as your safe haven.

Call the Wells Fargo fraud team immediately at 1-866-867-5568.

It is paramount to stay alert and careful when dealing with anything related to Wells Fargo. With so many Wells Fargo scams happening, exercise caution when it comes to fake messages, calls, and emails.

Always remember not to share personal information and, when in doubt, reach out to Wells Fargo directly using trusted sources.

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