Avoid Nasty New Schemes when Safeguarding Identities

By Robert E. Holtfreter
bob-holtfreter-50x50.jpg   Taking Back the ID 

Some recent phishing and banking Trojan schemes are plaguing consumers and businesses via the Internet and land-line telephones. In all these schemes, fraudsters are attempting to steal personal information and resources from their victims.  

In a typical Internet phishing scheme a victim provides his personal information after being asked to click on a hyperlink to a spoofed website. But in the banking Trojan scheme a victim normally clicks on a contaminated link that allows malicious software – the Trojan – to infiltrate his computer to gain unauthorized access to personal information and online banking services. 

In the eight fraudulent schemes addressed here, fraudsters give the appearance that the message is being sent by a federal regulatory body – mainly the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The FDIC on its website says that “con artists know that people trust the FDIC name. That’s why they might use our name and seal in fraudulent e-mails (or telephone calls) trying to obtain valuable information from consumers and businesses. Con artists use fake websites and e-mails to obtain valuable personal information from consumers.” The FDIC offers the following information and advice on its site: 

The FDIC does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal information. Additionally, the FDIC does not ask people for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts. If you get this sort of e-mail appearing to be from the FDIC, you should assume that it [using the e-mail in this manner] is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information from consumers and businesses. Consumers and businesses should NOT click the link provided within the body of the e-mail or install any software on their computer which is unfamiliar. … Information about fraudulent activity involving the FDIC should also be transmitted electronically to the FDIC’s Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section by e-mailing it to alert@fdic.gov or call the FDIC toll-free at 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). 

I’ve selected the following schemes because they’ve emerged most recently and differ significantly in their approaches. 



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