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Don’t click on that ‘FDIC’ link

By Marcie Geffner ·
Friday, July 16, 2010
Posted: 9 am ET

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, has issued a warning for banking customers: Don't click on that link. It's a fraud.

The warning comes after "numerous reports" of fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to have been sent from the FDIC, which said it doesn't send unsolicited messages to consumers.

The subject line of the fraudulent message reads: "You need to check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage."

The body of the message says, "You have received this message because you are a holder of an 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."

The message then directs the recipient to click on a link that states, "You need to visit the official FDIC website and perform the following steps to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage."

The FDIC says receipts should consider such messages to be "an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers." Do not click here.

Incidentally, I have to doubt whether the FDIC would "officially" name any bank as a "failed bank." Closed, yes. But "failed," I think not. In fact, the whole message sounds suspiciously unlike government agency-speak, doesn't it?

The warning isn't the first the FDIC has issued about so-called "phishing" messages that purport to come from the agency, but are in fact fraudulent attempts to obtain consumers' personal and financial data.

Other warnings were issued two months ago and late last year. One warned consumers about a message that offered $50 to complete a survey, supposedly from the FDIC. The other was similar to the newest incarnation. Again, these messages are fraudulent, and consumers should not open them or click on the links inside.

And so, the warnings keep coming. Don't open these messages. Don't click on these links. We've all heard the warnings before and I'm sure we'll hear them again -- and again. But that's not to suggest the FDIC's announcements are overkill: Quite the opposite. I tend to think a few warnings each year about the most obnoxious and clever phishing scams are a good reminder to everyone.


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