January 12, 2011 – The FDIC reported today that they received numerous reports from consumers who had received emails allegedly sent to them by the FDIC. The email attempts to solicit sensitive personal financial information from the recipient by claiming that FDIC insurance on their deposit accounts had been withdrawn. The email is a scam and consumers are strongly advised to avoid clicking on the link in the email and to report this fraudulent activity to the FDIC.
Financial institutions and government agencies do not solicit personal information from consumers through emails. Any suspicious looking email requesting personal financial information should be forwarded to the bank or agency that is named in the email so that they can be investigated.
Below is the email sent out by the FDIC regarding this matter.
The e-mail informs the recipient that “in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments…” the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient’s account “due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act.” It further states deposit insurance will remain suspended until identity and account information can be verified using a system called “IDVerify.” If consumers go to the link provided in the e-mail, it is suspected they will be asked for personal or confidential information, or malicious software may be loaded onto the recipient’s computer.
This e-mail is fraudulent. It was not sent by the FDIC. It is an 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.
For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC’s Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2011/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.
|Sandra L. Thompson|
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection