New email scam gets FDIC's attention

January 24, 2011 5:02:16 PM PST
A new email seeking personal information is hitting in boxes around the country and now the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is warning people not to fall for it. The agency says this is a scam and even sent out alerts to banks.

The email has the FDIC logo on it and it claims that your money is no longer protected because on an ongoing investigation. It sounds scary and in this case completely made up.

It's not your every day email. It claims to be from the FDIC and says, "In cooperation with the Homeland Security, Federal, State and Local Governments, the FDIC has withdrawn deposit insurance from your accounts."

The email says it is taking the action because of "account activity that violates the Patriot Act."

All you have to do to clear your good name is to click on a link. But the real FDIC Says the whole thing is a fraud and following the link will not help at all.

It turns out the link is an attempt to get your banking information and take all the money you have.

Most folks know exactly what to do with these kinds of emails.

"Just go ahead and delete it, get rid of it, throw it away to your junk mail and not open it up because it will cause a virus," said Connie Tyron, who says she always gets junk emails.

But the FDIC has gotten dozens of complaints about this email and is now telling banks to be on the lookout for potential victims.

"The FDIC keeps us notified about scams that cross their desk and this is one of them," said Graham Painter with Sterling Bank.

Painter says fighting fraud like the FDIC email is something banks are doing at every turn.

"I think the message the FDIC would like everybody to know and the banks would like everybody to know is that you should never give your personal banking information to anyone that you don't know," Painter said.

Emails that try to get your financial information are nothing new, but Leah Napoliello with the Houston Better Business Bureau says the FDIC email does seem official.

"Sometimes these phishing scams can be tricky and can very closely imitate the logos of professional or government agencies," Napoliello said.

The FDIC says they do not contact people by email or phone calls; instead they deal directly with banks.

Also the FDIC says it never pulls its insurance from accounts, you are insured up to $250,000 per account.

If you get one of these emails, you can forward it to the FDIC.