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Special Alerts

SA-5-2004
January 23, 2004


TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Consumer Alert
Summary: Emails to financial institution customers that fraudulently claim to be from the FDIC attempt to obtain highly sensitive personal information, including bank account information. These emails falsely indicate that FDIC deposit insurance is suspended until the requested customer information is provided.

At approximately 12:00 p.m. (EST) on January 23, 2004, FDIC Consumer Call Centers in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C., began receiving a large number of complaints by consumers who received an email that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The email informs the recipient that Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the recipientís bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act. The email further indicates that deposit insurance will be suspended until personal identity, including bank account information, can be verified.

This email was not sent by the FDIC and is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the email and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.

The FDIC is attempting to identify the source of the emails 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 alert@fdic.gov.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDICís Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2004/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts, Financial Institution Letters and other announcements through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/news/news/announcements/index.html.

Michael J. Zamorski

Director
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Distribution: All insured institutions

NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDICís Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (1-877-275-3342 or (703) 562-2200).




Last Updated 1/23/2004 communications@fdic.gov