Internet scam: FDIC issues warning about fraudulent email notification

January 19, 2011
Santa Paula News

There is nothing sacred, at least to online scammers who are now taking on the identity of the federal agency that is supposed to protect bank customers, to cheat consumers out of their hard earned money.

The latest scam involves emails claiming to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which in turn has issued a warning.

Michael D. Hause, president/CEO of Santa Clara Valley Bank, said consumers must be careful. “We care about our community and want to ensure that they are aware that identify theft is very prevalent and that they should always view these types of emails with suspicion.”

Hause urged consumers to “Never share any personal information over the Internet, and if you have any questions call your financial institution directly. Information about identity theft and prevention may be found on our website This is not how the federal government, banks and other financial institutions do business,” said Hause.

According to Sandra L. Thompson, director of Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection, “E-mails fraudulently claiming to be from the FDIC are attempting to get recipients to click on a link, which may ask them to provide sensitive personal information. These e-mails falsely indicate that FDIC deposit insurance is suspended until the requested customer information is provided.”

The consumer alert notes the FDIC has received “numerous reports” from consumers who received an email that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. 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that “in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, federal, state and local governments” the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from the recipient’s account “due to account activity that violates the Patriot Act.” The fraudulent email 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,” notes the FDIC warning, “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. But they are also asking consumers to report any similar attempts to obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to

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