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Computer Users Seek Protection From Fake FDIC Insurance Notice

Beware of Phishing Scams

Anchorage, Alaska – Oct. 29, 2009 – E-mail recipients may receive notification that appears to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) with instructions to download and open a "personal FDIC insurance file" to check their deposit insurance coverage. Better Business Bureau says don’t do it.

The FDIC released a statement confirming that the e-mails are fraudulent.

Hackers are exploiting the FDIC name to trick people into downloading an executable file—which may contain Spyware or a malicious virus—aimed at siphoning private records from innocent computer users.

The bogus e-mail’s subject line says, "Check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage." The text in the e-mail reads: "You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets."

Recipients are asked to "visit the official FDIC website" by clicking on a masked hyperlink provided in the e-mail; although the link resembles the FDIC site, it redirects recipients to an artificial Web site—allegedly intended to infect computers with viruses or other harmful files. This mass e-mail breach may be an unlawful attempt to gain access to online banking accounts or steal identities.

Those who receive this e-mail should not click provided links or open enclosed attachments. Instead, forward the fraudulent e-mail to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section at alert@fdic.gov. Meanwhile, the FDIC investigates the source.

BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington provides tips to insure the safety of personal computer files:

  • Install and maintain anti-virus software, firewalls, and e-mail spam filters.

  • Never respond to e-mail requests for personal or bank account information.

  • Do not click Web site links received in unsolicited e-mail messages.

  • Carefully examine the Web address. Bogus sites are designed to look nearly identical to the real ones; however, there are usually slight variations, such as ending in “.net” when it should be “.com.”

  • Instead of connecting to a link recommended by e-mail, manually type in the URL in the Web address bar after checking its authenticity on a search engine.

  • Notify the real company, financial institution or government agency if you receive questionable correspondence and contact them using a phone number or e-mail address from a reliable, public directory.

  • If banking or purchasing items over the Internet, always double-check that the site is secured.

Check with your BBB or the FDIC to learn how to identify phishing scams. If you suspect any e-mail or Web site is fraudulent, report it to the InternetCrimeComplaintCenter at www.ic3.gov.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses. The BBB’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our Web site at www.bbb.org.

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