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Beware of Fictitious E-mails Claiming to Be from the Fdic, Occ

1/28/2004

CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher today warned consumers to be on the lookout for fictitious emails claiming to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and requesting personal bank account information.

On Friday, January 23, the FDIC and the OCC began receiving complaints from consumers who received email alleging that the Director of the Department of Homeland Security had advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the email recipient's bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act. The email further falsely states that deposit insurance will be suspended until personal identity, including bank account information, can be verified.

"This email was not sent by the FDIC or the OCC and is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers," said Gallagher, who oversees the state Department of Financial Services. "Financial institutions and consumers should not access the link provided in the email nor should they provide any personal information."

Gallagher said email scams such as this one often involves elaborate impersonations – including complete copies of web sites, corporate logos, letterheads, and other official-looking documents. Computer-savvy con-artists use subtle tricks such as including hyperlinks that say the customer is going to one web site but actually connects the user to an imposter.

Consumers who receive this email can forward it to the FDIC at alert@fdic.gov or report it by going to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center Web site at: http://www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp and follow the instructions for filing a complaint.