Investigators are trying to find the source of a phony site, purportedly from the FDIC, that tries to trick recipients into giving up personal financial data.
Federal investigators are seeking the source of a phony E-mail purportedly from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that asks recipients to click on a Web site and provide personal bank account information.
FDIC spokesman David Barr said Friday the bogus Web site was shut down when the agency was alerted by consumers who received the E-mail. FBI and FDIC officials are investigating who set up the scam.
"It's just another creative way to separate people from their money," Barr said. "Some people are smart and realize that it doesn't sound right, but a lot of people may respond to it. It does seem like it's official, but the FDIC does not and would not ask consumers unsolicited for personal account information.''
The E-mail says a person's bank account may have been used in violation of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism legislation passed by Congress shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and that the investigation was being conducted with the Homeland Security Department.
The E-mail says that unless that person clicks on the Internet link, the account's federal deposit insurance will be canceled, records will be sent to the FBI for analysis, and the owner may receive a visit from Homeland Security.