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Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking

Compromised Account Scams


Beware of Compromised Account Scams

The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is warning residents to be on guard against compromised account scams, especially during the holidays.


You may receive an email, text message or phone call informing you that there is suspicious activity on your bank, Amazon, Netflix, PayPal or other account. You are told that you need to take immediate action to prevent your account from being further compromised.  

The scammer emails you a link that leads to a website that asks for your account number, user ID, password and/or social security number. The email displays what genuinely appears to be the purported sender’s logo. Once you click on the link in the scammer’s email and provide the requested information, you open yourself up to identity theft and fraud.

In other instances, the scammers may contact you to confirm an expensive charge on your account that you know you did not make. They request remote access to your computer so they can assist you in removing potential malware. Once you comply, the scammer gains control of your computer, accessing sensitive information such as your stored passwords and financial account information.


  • Be extra cautious when reviewing unsolicited calls, emails and texts. Be skeptical of unsolicited communications and verify the sender’s information.  
  • Understand how businesses handle communications. You can easily spot a scam if you know how the companies you conduct business with handle disputes and suspicious activities.
  • Do not act immediately! Contact your bank or service provider using the telephone number listed on the back of your card or on their official website. Log into your account and check your statement online for any pending payments.
  • Do not panic, and do not feel intimidated or pressured. Scammers will try to pressure you into giving them your information so they can steal your hard-earned money.  Legitimate businesses do not pressure their customers.  
  • Never give your personally identifiable information to anyone you do not know and trust. 


If you believe you have been the victim of a compromised account scam or of any other financial fraud, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at to file a report or call the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357. You may also get in touch with the DISB Enforcement and Consumer Protection Division at 202-727-8000 or visit

DISB Mission

Our mission is three-fold: (1) cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; (2) empower and educate residents and (3) support the development and expansion of business.

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