Spammers Using the FDIC to Scare Youby Tim Manni
We’ve warned readers countless times about email spam. We try to tell readers what to look out for and how to protect themselves from online fraud. A spam email we got this morning goes back to the warning that scammers will use government agencies to either scare you into clicking their bad link or they’ll use them to make you feel secure that the link is safe.
Today our office received an email disguised to look as though it came from the FDIC.
You have received this message because you are a holder of a 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.
You need to visit the official FDIC website and perform the following steps to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage:
- Visit FDIC website: http://firstname.lastname@example.org&id=1420687953280353301911350874196175165951385494
- Download and open your personal FDIC Insurance File to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage
Notice the over-generalization; nothing is specific: “the bank you have opened your account with.” Furthermore, any official email from an entity in which you have an account with will address you specifically. Spam emails tend to address you with generic terms like “Sir” or “Madam.” Or in this case, by nothing at all.
Lastly, when you hover over the link in which they want you to click, you’ll notice that the link appears differently on the bottom of your screen than in the email — that’s another warning sign.
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth
In order to be sure how the process works, we went directly to the FDIC to determine how customers are notified of a bank failure:
How am I notified when my bank has been closed?
The FDIC notifies each depositor in writing using the depositor’s address on record with the bank. This notification is mailed immediately after the bank closes.
When the failed bank is acquired by another bank; the assuming bank also notifies the depositors. This notification usually is mailed with the first bank statement after the assumption.
Every effort also is made to inform the public through the news media, town meetings, and notices posted at the bank.