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Special Alerts

February 1, 2005

TO: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (also of interest to Security Officer)
SUBJECT: Consumer Alert
Summary: Consumers have received e-mails that fraudulently claim to be from the FDIC. These e-mails request that the recipients provide sensitive personal information and they include a link to a fraudulent Web site for this purpose.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been notified that consumers have received e-mails that appear to the reader to be related to banking activities. The fraudulent e-mails request that the recipients respond to a notice from their bank to confirm an online payment to be made for products purchased. The link contained within the e-mail serves as a gateway to the fraudulent Web site. The fraudulent Web site is designed to look like a page from the FDIC's authentic Web page, where the individual is then directed to provide sensitive financial and personal information, such as bank or credit card account numbers.

The use of this type of e-mail scam, seeking to obtain sensitive information from individuals, is referred to as "phishing." The FDIC provides information on its Web site that explains more about phishing and other types of fraudulent activity targeting consumers at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/alerts/index.html. The information on this site also provides consumers with tips on protecting personal information from these types of scams.

This alert is intended to warn consumers that the fraudulent e-mail, which could also possibly contain a computer virus, was not sent by the FDIC. Financial institutions and consumers are warned NOT to access the link or submit personal information through this site. Additionally, as a reminder to all consumers, the FDIC strongly recommends that individuals safeguard personal information and refrain from responding to any unsolicited request for personal information.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2005/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts, please visit http://www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

Michael J. Zamorski
Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Distribution: All insured institutions

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

Last Updated 2/01/2005 communications@fdic.gov