FDIC Urges Consumers to Be
Aware of New Identity Theft Scams
When Internet Scam Artists
Go "Phishing," Don't Take the Bait
November 02, 2004
The Alaska Division of Banking and Securities is urging consumers
to be more aware of "phishing scams" - as in fishing
for confidential information. These are a new types of Internet
scams where operators posing as legitimate businesses seek to
get consumer information, such as account numbers, passwords,
and personal identification numbers (PINS) - leading to both
credit card and identity theft.
A common type of phishing scam
is where individuals receive e-mails that appear to come from
their financial institution. The e-mail may look authentic, right
down to the use of the institution's logo and marketing slogans.
The e-mails often describe a situation that requires immediate
attention, and then warns that the account will be terminated
unless the recipient verifies their account information by clicking
on a provided link.
The link will take the e-mail
recipient to a screen that asks for account information. While
it may appear to be a page sponsored by a legitimate financial
institution, the information will actually go to the operator
who sent the e-mail.
Federal financial regulatory
agencies and the State want consumers to know that they should
not respond to such requests.
Consumers should be advised
- Never click on the link provided
in an e-mail if there is reason to believe it is
fraudulent. The link may contain a virus.
- Do not be intimidated by e-mails
that warn of dire consequences for not following their instructions.
- If there is a question about
whether the e-mail is legitimate, go to the company's site by
typing in a site address that you know to be legitimate.
- If you fall victim to a phishing
scam, act immediately to protect yourself by alerting your financial
institution, placing fraud alerts on your credit files and monitoring
your account statements closely.
- Report suspicious e-mails
or calls to the Federal Trade Commission through the Internet
or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT.
If you suspect that you have
been a victim of a phishing scam contact the State Division of
Banking and Securities at (907) 465-2521.
For more information on how
to avoid these situations:
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Consumer News
Source of News Release:
Alaska Department of Commerce
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