Consumers should watch for e-mail scam

Consumers should watch for e-mail scam Area consumers should watch out for fraudulent e-mail claiming to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a South Dakota State University specialist said.

SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Specialist Liz Gorham said FDIC consumer call centers have fielded complaints in recent days from consumers receiving the e-mail. The e-mail says Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has told the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the recipient's bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act.

The fraudulent e-mail says deposit insurance will be suspended until the recipient furnishes personal identity information, including bank account information, for verification.

The FDIC has announced in a news release that the e-mail was not sent by the FDIC and is a fraudulent attempt to get personal information from consumers, Gorham said.

The FDIC adds that financial institutions and consumers should not click on the link in the body of the e-mail and should not provide any personal or financial information. The FDIC said clicking on the link could activate a virus.

Gorham said the FDIC and the FBI are trying to track down the source of the e-mails. Consumers should use caution and report any similar e-mails to the FDIC. Send the information to: alert@fdic.gov.

The FDIC adds that if consumers did send card numbers or PIN numbers, they should contact their banks (or issuers) as soon as possible to address the situation.

The FDIC's toll-free consumer assistance number is 1-877-275-3342.

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