Fla. Officials Warn of Fictitious Correspondence

January 29, 2004

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher warned consumers to be on the lookout for fictitious e-mails 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, Jan. 23, the FDIC and the OCC reportedly began receiving complaints from consumers who received an e-mail alleging that the Director of the Department of Homeland Security had advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the e-mail recipient’s bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act. The e-mail further falsely states 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 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 e-mail scams such as this one often involve elaborate impersonations – including complete copies of Web sites, corporate logos, letterhead, 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 connect users to an imposter.

Consumers who receive this e-mail can forward them to the FDIC at alert@fdic.gov or report them by going to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center Web site at: and follow the instructions for filing a complaint.

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