FDIC Warns of E-mail Scam

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Helen O'Beirne is in with the trends.

"I bank completely online. My checking account is online, my savings account," said Helen.

She's not only familiar with online banking; she knows crime trends are changing too.

"Yeah. I know that there are tons of scammers. I know bad economic conditions breed desperate situations for folks," she said.

So she wasn't surprised to hear about the latest scam. A fraudulent e-mail claiming her bank tanked, the FDIC is now in charge. She'll need to fill out an insurance form complete with her personal information to claim her money.

"I know one of the biggest techniques, I guess of scammers, is to try to look official. And it's easy for someone like me to see an American flag or a government seal and think this may be legit," said Helen.

Whether it looks legit or not, the Better Business Bureau says, a government agency won't e-mail you and the FDIC, which deals with banks, won't meddle with customers.

"In the case of a bank failure, that's going to become news that everyone's going to hear about," said Barbara Homiller, Better Business Bureau.

Homiller says scams like this one are dangerous. A click too many, and your information is not so private anymore.

"It contains a virus that's designed just for this purpose, for getting your bank passwords, account numbers and your other personal identifying information," said Homiller.

Although this scam is new Helen resorts back to old advice in order to steer clear.

"My mom told me not to fall for anything that seems too good to be true. So I try to do as much investigating as I can before even opening the email and certainly before clicking through," said Helen.

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