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FDIC Phisher Scam

Fraudulent email claiming to be from the FDIC attempts to trick recipients into visiting a bogus website to "verify" their identity.


Example:(Submitted via email, 2004)
To whom it may concern;
In cooperation with the Department Of Homeland Security, Federal, State and Local Governments your account has been denied insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation due to suspected violations of the Patriot Act. While we have only a limited amount of evidence gathered on your account at this time it is enough to suspect that currency violations may have occurred in your account and due to this activity we have withdrawn Federal Deposit Insurance on your account until we verify that your account has not been used in a violation of the Patriot Act.

As a result Department Of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to suspend all deposit insurance on your account until such time as we can verify your identity and your account information.

Please verify through our IDVerify below. This information will be checked against a federal government database for identity verification. This only takes up to a minute and when we have verified your identity you will be notified of said verification and all suspensions of insurance on your account will be lifted.


Failure to use IDVerify below will cause all insurance for your account to be terminated and all records of your account history will be sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. for analysis and verification. Failure to provide proper identity may also result in a visit from Local, State or Federal Government or Homeland Security Officials.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Donald E. Powell
Chairman Emeritus FDIC
John D. Hawke, Jr.
Comptroller of the Currency
Michael E. Bartell
Chief Information Officer

Unlike phisher scams that target specific banks or financial institutions, this one endeavours to target as wide an audience as possible by pretending to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC is a US government agency that insures bank accounts, so most people who have a bank account would be indirect clients of the agency via their bank.

This phisher scam attempts to trick recipients into visiting a bogus website to "verify" their identity. If people follow the link in the fraudulent email, they are taken to a site designed to look like the official FDIC site.

The email tries to scare people into supplying personal information on the bogus site by telling them that they are under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security "due to suspected violations of the Patriot Act." This frightening claim may be enough to entice na´ve individuals into supplying information at the fraudulent website in order to clear their name and stop any further investigation.

A press release from the FBI and FDIC states in part:

This email was not sent by the FDIC and is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the link provided within the body of the email and should NOT under any circumstances provide any personal information through this media.

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen