Andy Cohen fell victim to a credit card scam. Here’s what he learned.


Andy Cohen is speaking out about his experience with becoming a victim of an imposter scam — and warning others of the red flags to look out for with these types of scams.

In an exclusive interview on TODAY Jan. 10, Cohen told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb about how he lost money when his bank account was hacked through an imposter scam.

“Listen, I’m not proud of this, but it’s enough that I really want to share it,” Cohen said. “But here, it happened to me, and I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

Imposter scams happen when a scammer impersonates someone else, like a government or bank employee, to steal a victim’s money or personal information, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

And Cohen isn’t alone — impersonator fraud has been the most reported scam for years, according to the FTC. More than 600,000 cases were reported in the U.S. in 2023, amounting to more than $2 billion lost, according to the FTC.

What happened to Andy Cohen?

Cohen said the scam started right after he lost his debit card. The next day, the Bravo host said he received an email that appeared to be from his bank’s fraud alert.

“It wasn’t. Because I lost my card. I was like, ‘Oh, this must be real,’” he said. “I didn’t click on the email address. You need to click on the email address — even though it may say the name of your bank, if you click on it, you can see that it’s not at your bank dot com.”

He clicked into the link in the email, which took him to sign in to his bank’s page, which gave the scammers access to his account. They then asked him to sign into his Apple ID, which was a red flag to him.

“No one will ever ask you for your Apple ID. I said, ‘This is a scam.’ I got off. I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

The next day, he said he got a text from what appeared to be from his bank asking if he was trying to use his card. He responded it was not him, and then he got a call from a person who wanted to review his recent charges, which he said they could see because they had access to his account.

The person then said they would send him “some codes,” which they asked him to tell them. They sent him three codes, which he said were actually wire transfers out of my bank account.

“I think I’m on with my bank, and they were so good. Whoever you are: I hate you, but you’re very good at your job,” Cohen said.

Cohen said he was on the phone with the impersonator for over an hour, and “they then did something so nuts.”

They asked him to enter numbers into his keypad, and at that point something flashed on his phone: caller forwarding activated.

“I happened to take a screenshot of it because I was like, ‘This is weird,’” he said.

What Cohen didn’t know was that he had set up call forwarding and allowed incoming calls to be forwarded directly to the scammers, he said.

“When the bank called me to ask me if I was doing these wires —because they call you to say that they were sizable wire transfers — the calls had been forwarded to the hackers,” he shared.

Cohen said he called his bank’s fraud number after that, and that they would call him back in about 30 minutes.

“They never called me back. And so I was like, ‘This is weird,’” he said. “My phone was silent all night.”

Cohen said he went to his bank branch the following day, and found out that money had been wired out of his account. Cohen did not disclose the amount he had lost.

“When money is wired out of your account, it’s gone. This is an active case with the NYPD Cyber Security Unit. It’s very easy to fall prey to,” Cohen said. “I’m on the TODAY show talking it.”

Andy Cohen’s tips for avoiding imposter scams

“I consider myself a smart, functioning member of society,” Cohen said, before he shared his tips on avoiding imposter scams.

“Check the email address,” Cohen said. “Absolutely. Click on it always.”

He also said to avoid the sense of urgency when receiving a text or phone call.

“Take a breath and just go to your bank, or call the number on the back of your card you have it handy,” he said. “Nothing needs to happen now — a lot of times these people call and say, ‘Time is of the essence, you have to do this now. Don’t do that.”

The Bravo host said he hoped to get back to his normal talking points for his next TODAY show appearance.

“I know we want to talk about the ‘(Real Housewives of) Salt Lake City’ reunion, but this is serious and I really don’t want this to happen to anyone.”