Bank of America gets punked online

A phony Google+ site that appeared to belong to the bank has been taken down, creating embarrassment for B of A and Google.

By Kim Peterson Nov 15, 2011 3:40PM
Bank of America (BAC) said what?

Pranksters created a fake website for the bank on the Google+ social network this month, posting unflattering pictures of executives and snarky status updates.

The site appeared to be legitimate, with the bank's logo and contact information. But a description that read "We took your bailout money and your mortgage rates are going up" and updates such as "Big company party in foreclosed house #2340087 tonight!" were dead giveaways that the bank had been punked.

The site is down now, but you can see an archived image here.

The pranksters introduced the bank by writing: "We are committed to making as much money as possible from usury, coercion, bribery, insider trading, extortion and debit card fees as possible." That last part referred to the $5 monthly debit card fee that Bank of America was considering but then canceled amid a public uproar.

The page was created earlier this month, as soon as Google (GOOG) opened the business pages on its Google+ network. Several companies have created wonderful pages on the site, including Toyota (TM) and Macy's (M). You can see Pepsi's (PEP) Google+ page here.

The fake Bank of America page is an embarrassment for the bank and for Google, which appears not to verify pages as the real thing. The attackers seem to have tricked Google into giving them a business page under the bank's name, notes the Naked Security blog.

Some marketing professionals are saying the bank has been "brandjacked" -- a type of attack that is getting easier with all the ways companies can connect with customers online.

"It was exactly this kind of parody that Google+ was hoping to avoid by only allowing real names to be used when it launched, and the high-profile nature of this example suggests a return to forced authenticity," writes Time magazine's Graeme McMillan. "Way to ruin it for everyone again, Bank of America."


54Comments
Nov 16, 2011 2:14PM
Nov 16, 2011 2:00PM
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I may be in the minority but I see Bank of America trying to make a difference.  They are a huge bank and being so large makes it difficult to bring about change but they are taking steps to turn it around.  They inherited several problems during the height of the near financial meltdown of '08-'09 and are trying to fix the problems.  It does not happen overnight.  If everyone out there would look for the silver linings instead of being on the side of doom and gloom things would get better sooner than later.  A big part of the problem out there is news channels trying to make stories to capture your attention for their ratings etc.  Bank of America is our oldest bank and a reputable institution.  The bottom line is if the borrowers would hold up their end of the agreement and pay their debts we would not be in this mess.  You can't fault a business for trying to make a profit.  This is what the free enterprise system is all about.  Borrowers should be held accountable too.  If you can't pay your debt then don't incur it in the first place.  The sense of entitlement mentality has to go away.
Nov 16, 2011 1:51PM
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I think this is funny - if it had been a genuine BOA site - at least they would have been telling the TRUTH for ONCE.
Nov 16, 2011 1:48PM
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#282

Hey you and the MEDIA say we have no message! I will copy and paste the message until you get it!!!!

Look not to a government to fix your problems... you will lose another right! Legally!!! That’s right I agree! Capitalism works as long as there is a Free Market not controlled by Congress and lobbyist are the true Socialist!!!

Tea Party MESSAGE IS HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR!!! LMAO    TEA PARTY SAY'S go to D.C. protest a do little (nothing gov. creates bribes) to hang out there...

OWS say's!!!!

Hell ya!! SAVE AMERICA!!!! Here is how to do it...

BLACK FRIDAY buy small save a small business. Buy AMERICAN save America!!

STAY IN YOUR BUDGET... NO CREDIT CARDS, NO DEBT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

w I will number each time I have to copy and paste the Same message till You and the MEDIA GET IT!!!!

 

Nov 16, 2011 1:43PM
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2 words says it all Fractional banking!!

The Devil is in the details see how much detail this jelly bean gave you!

That is because he believes in magic beans and printed paper that magically has value... Nothing to back it up except that yo believe that $20.00 is really worth $20.00!!!

Magic Beans, F.R. is a printing press pressing out money as fast as they can print it!!!

OIL is up because Oil is based to the dollar!!! Dollar goes down oil goes up simple!!!

Nov 16, 2011 1:36PM
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Chase is just as bad, if not worse.
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Society has definitely gotten much worse in the last 50 years. It's very discouraging that so many people have no personal ethics and probably don't even understand what having ethics means. It's like anything you can get away with is okay... Shudder. No wonder we have so much crime.

Nov 16, 2011 12:25PM
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@ks65

You need to send them a letter in writing asking them to stop, and if they don't, send another letter letting them know they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. When you send that letter, hit up the FTC website and file a report. The calls will stop, at least for a bit.

Nov 16, 2011 12:06PM
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The only thing embarassing is how Bank of America and the rest of the big banks have conducted themselves. Maybe they should look at the big picture and realize people wouldn't create sites like these if the banks actually worked to help people out rather than looking to screw the hard-working American at every corner!

 

Google isn't embarassed, I know the devs working there were laughing their asses off!

Nov 16, 2011 11:48AM
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Here my friends.

  - I  believe and see that if you do not have enough money, no matter what bank you have account with you will always have problems.

Best thing to do for free of charge: 

1. Purchase Only with the cash you have with you.

2. Always keep your account above the minimum dollar amount, or do not use it. Just to keep

    for check cashing.

 

  - Think about, there is not body will let you use their money for free! 

  - Most americans expect  too high than the bank.

Nov 16, 2011 11:40AM
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think it's kinda stupid how everyone is complaining about bank of america, but obviously millions of people still bank with them.  why didn't everybody leave when they took bailout money if everyone is going to act they hate this bank so much?  and why is everyone surprised when they try and charge $5 for debit card use?  why are you still banking there???
Nov 16, 2011 11:03AM
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BOA has been communicating with me very nicely lately.....they have taken to calling me DAILY to make a friendly reminder that my mortgage is due in X number of days!  The calls begin on the 2nd of the month...and only stop when the payment is received (my payment is due on the 8th) - I have only been late once on my mortgage----3 flippin years ago.  They do NOT leave a message....only continually call EVERY HOUR on the HOUR until you answer.  Remember it is always "just a reminder"!  My point?  I think they are making tooooooo much money if they can pay someone to sit and make calls like this....
Nov 16, 2011 11:01AM
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The word on the street after the Joplin tornado was that Bank of America was the worst offender of taking advantage of their customers who lost their homes. It was reported that BOA held on to peoples ' insurance check money as long as they could.

 

Yes, I think this company is a soulless scum.

This kind of outrage is what the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about.

Nov 16, 2011 10:19AM
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I viewed the archived page of the site.  Everything it said was accurate.  Are they sure it wasn't real, only, a little TOO real, for boa to deal with?
Nov 16, 2011 7:11AM
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i don't trust bank of america at all because they stole my money for no reason so i move to federal credit union so i trust that bank so far i had that bank for about 15 years without the problem so just **** that stupid bank of america for good so don't go there and go to better bank like mine ok but it's up to you and you will find out later on someday so just be careful
Nov 16, 2011 5:45AM
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Seems like some people have too much time on their hands. Time to cut back on unemployment benefits and other government giveaways.
Nov 16, 2011 4:53AM
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I'm not so sure that what it said is too far from the truth.  Are we really sure it got punked or maybe one of the recently laid off workers decided to get a bit of revenge?

 

Or, maybe one of the fat PIGS who got a $600,000 bonus check last year found out that this year, because they had to reverse the Debit Card Fee, their bonus was going to be reduced to $450,000.

 

Keep leaving Bank of America.  Don't let their decision to dump the Debit Card Fee make you think for one minute they are concerned about their customers.  Their obvious devotion to spending more time finding new fees and ways to screw customers over, versus hiring people and making the company run efficiently says it all.  I switched to BECU in August, adn in 3 months, I have received more money in interest on my accounts than I did in the last 3 YEARS at Bank of UNAmerica.

 

BOA for BOA constrictor.  Yeah, Love it.  I think of BOA more as:

 

Bunch of A**holes.

 

Nov 16, 2011 3:03AM
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@wolfland...yes that's true, but while you're using 2-ply tp...the rich uses 20s that come from your pocket.
Nov 16, 2011 2:13AM
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I hate to see when businesses get messed with, but BofA deserves it.
Nov 16, 2011 1:51AM
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Has anyone noticed how the abbreviation for Bank of America is aptly BOA as in Boa Constrictor since its policies are putting a strangle-hold on its account holders?  Just a mention.   
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