BALTIMORE - The thought of losing access to your money would get anyone's attention, but that's what scammers are threatening. The federal government says they're using idle threats to get you to share personal information.
Chances are you've heard the name, but maybe you don't know how the FDIC functions. Scammers these days are counting on that, sending emails that use the agency's four famous letters to intimidate. Deanna Booker with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware says, "It sounds very official and it says you've got to contact us right away because we're going to suspend your banking privileges or there's something wrong with your accounts."
But Booker emphasizes it's just a scare tactic con artists use to trick you into giving out your personal information. In this case, they use those poser emails. They claim to be from the FDIC and ask you to click on links and hand over personal information to fix a supposed problem with your account. Booker explains, "The moment they do that they're into our computers."
If you click on the attached link, you could end up allowing malicious software to be installed on our computer. That malware gives crooks the potential opportunity to track your passwords, pin numbers and personal info.
So if you get one of these emails, remember the FDIC doesn't do business with individual customers. If there's really a problem with your account, you'll hear from your bank. If you receive one of these fake emails, Booker says you can contact your bank independently to make sure there are no problems. In addition, send the email to the FDIC's Fraud Department at email@example.com .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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