FDIC FRAUD ALERT
FDIC Consumer Call Centers in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C., have begun receiving a large number of complaints by consumers who received an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail informs the recipient that Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the recipient’s bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act. The e-mail further indicates that deposit insurance will be suspended until personal identity, including bank account information, can be verified.
This e-mail was not sent by the FDIC and is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a new type of Internet piracy called ‘phishing.’ It’s pronounced ‘fishing’ and that’s exactly what these thieves are doing: ‘fishing’ for your personal financial information. What they want are account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your credit cards.
In the worst case, you could find yourself a victim of identity theft. With the sensitive information obtained from a successful phishing scam, these thieves can take out loans or obtain credit cards and even driver’s licenses in your name.
They can do damage to your financial history and financial reputation that can take years to unravel. But if you understand how phishing works and how to protect yourself, you can help stop this crime.
How to Protect Yourself:
1. Never provide your personal information in response to an unsolicited request, whether it is over the phone or over the Internet. E-mails and Internet pages created by phishers may look exactly like the real thing.
2. If you believe the contact may be legitimate, contact the financial institution yourself. The key is that you should be the one to initiate the contact, using contact information that you have verified yourself.
3. Never provide your password over the phone or in response to an unsolicited Internet request. We would never ask you to verify your account information online.
4. Review account statements regularly to ensure all charges are correct. If your account statement is late in arriving, call the bank to find out why.