Don’t Get Had with These Certificates of Deposit Scams

Savers are no strangers to the growing number of fake high-yield CDs offered by scammers. The criminals are getting more savvy at making fake CDs seem legitimate and using them to steal personal and financial information. This makes it more difficult for consumers to decipher whether they’re being tricked or if they’ve found a legitimate great deal.  

Types of CD Scams

Spoofed Websites and Internet Advertisements

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, spoofed websites and internet advertisements mimic actual sites or URL addresses of official banks or credit unions and use legitimate-sounding names and URLs to trick consumers into buying fake CDs.

Email Phishing and Telephone Solicitation

Another tactic scammers use is engaging consumers with offers through email phishing and telephone solicitation. These scams lead victims to share personal and financial information, transfer funds, or click on links to download malicious software to steal passwords or money through devices.

How To Recognize a CD Scam

The following are red flags to alert you to scammers soliciting bogus rates and offers to consumers:

-Presenting notably higher rates than other financial institutions
-Requiring high minimum deposits, (i.e. $200,000 or more)
-Requesting consumers wire funds to accounts outside of the U.S. or U.S. accounts that have different names than the financial institution claims to be
-Emails claiming to be from a financial institution but are sent from a different email address
-Emails containing misspellings or grammatical errors
-Communication using language with a sense of urgency (i.e. “act now”, “immediate action required”, “limited time offer” etc.)
-Requesting personal information, money, login credentials, or payment information to be sent through email or given over the phone
-Offers that seem too good to be true or request money for FDIC or NCUA insurance fees

How to Prevent Being a Victim of a CD Scam

Always be alert for CD scam tactics and red flags when CD shopping. Here are a few additional tips to avoid becoming a CD scam victim:

-If you do not recognize who’s contacting or calling, try contacting them directly via other means (i.e. looking up the financial institution’s phone number and calling the official number directly).
-Do not click on links in an email unless you have verified that they’re secure.
-Do not share personal or financial information unless you have confirmed the financial institution is legitimate.
-Confirm the financial institution is legitimate by searching for the bank or credit union name or website at FDIC BankFind or Credit Union Locator.
-If you are in doubt or have identified a suspicious website related to FDIC or NCUA insurance, please contact the FDIC National Center for Consumer and Depositor Assistance (NCDA) at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342) or NCUA Fraud Hotline at 1-800-826-9650 to speak with a deposit insurance specialist. You can also fill out the FDIC Deposit Insurance Misrepresentation Form or NCUA Fraud Hotline Form.
-Find the most competitive rates from official FDIC and NCUA-insured financial institutions on


What are the common signs of a CD scam? 

Common signs include unusually high rates, requests for personal information via email, demands for immediate action, and communications from non-official email addresses. 

How can I verify if a CD offer is legitimate? 

Verify the authenticity of a CD offer by checking if the financial institution is listed on official sites like FDIC BankFind or the NCUA Credit Union Locator, and always use the official contact information to confirm any offers. 

Can I recover money lost to a CD scam? 

Recovery of lost funds can be challenging, but reporting the scam promptly to your bank and legal authorities increases your chances. Always keep detailed records of all communications related to the scam. 

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