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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is warning consumers, businesses and financial institutions to be aware of fraudulent e-mails allegedly from, or related to, financial institutions that have been the subject of recent news stories. Phishing e-mails often incorporate aspects of high-profile news stories – such as bank mergers, acquisitions and failures – to create a sense of urgency and legitimacy for requesting information or action.
These types of fraudulent e-mails may request recipients to verify computer logon credentials, update personal information, or activate new online security features. The fraudulent e-mails may include a link that directs the recipient to a fraudulent or "spoofed" Web site that looks similar to the subject institution's legitimate Web site. Once there, users may be prompted to provide information about online banking credentials or other personal and confidential information that could be used to gain unauthorized access to online banking services or perpetrate identity theft. These spoofed Web sites may also direct the user to download software updates or digital certificates, which may actually be malicious code or software attempting to collect online banking credentials or other personal and confidential information.
Consumers, businesses and financial institutions should be wary of unsolicited e-mails purportedly from financial institutions recently in the news and take the following precautions:
For additional information about safe online banking and avoiding online scams, visit http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/guard/.
For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2008/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts via e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.
Distribution: FDIC-supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
Paper copies of FDIC Special Alerts may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 1-877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200.
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