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Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage

The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

Special 10th Anniversary Edition - Fall 2003

Shopping and Paying From Home Over the Internet...Do Your Homework First
The Internet lets you research products, comparison shop among hundreds of businesses, sign up for special deals, and pay for purchases 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But there also can be hazards, including identity theft, which happens when a criminal obtains personal information and uses it to commit fraud in someone else's name. Some suggestions:

Deal with a reputable company.
"Practically anyone anywhere in the world can set up a Web site anonymously," says Michael Jackson, an Associate Director of the FDIC's Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection."That increases the potential for fraud and other troubles." So, be suspicious if the merchant doesn't list a physical address or a phone number. Closely review the Web site's address (URL), especially if you are provided a link to that site in an unsolicited e-mail. Some con artists also try to lure consumers to fraudulent Web sites by using corporate names or Internet addresses that are similar to those of legitimate companies. Also contact a knowledgeable friend, your state's Attorney General's office (listed in your phone book or other directories) or the Better Business Bureau and ask about a merchant's reputation.

Protect your personal information.
Read about how the company safeguards bank account, credit card and other confidential information. Don't divulge your Social Security number, credit card number or other personal information unless you're sure the Web site is legitimate and you know why that information is needed. And never disclose your password to anyone.

Excerpted from "Shopping and Paying from Home Over the Internet," Summer 2001.

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Last Updated 12/12/2003 communications@fdic.gov