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Financial Regulators Alert Maine Residents of Fresh Phishing Scam

Maine authorities along with regulators of federal banking have issued an alert to consumers that a new e-mail scam is making rounds in the state.

Lloyd LaFountain, superintendent of Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions, stated that under the scam, end-users get an e-mail, which seems as if it has been sent by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), but is actually fraudulent.

Also the e-mail, which contains a "personal FDIC insurance file", directs recipients to view it so that they can examine their supposed coverage of insurance deposit since their bank or financial institution has apparently collapsed, reported MPBN on October 29, 2009.

LaFountain added that if anyone follows the web-link embedded on the e-mail, he is diverted onto a bogus site which downloads malware to steal personal information, which fraudsters could use to commit identity theft or to drain victim's bank accounts.

The Superintendent further stated that credit unions and banks do not normally dispatch bulk e-mails asking for users' private financial details. Hence, authorities have advised netizens to refrain from opening the link; instead they must erase that e-mail.

Meanwhile, online customers of commercial banking remain favorite target of cyber-criminals, with other US enterprises stating that funds went missing from their bank and other financial accounts after FDIC issued the warning during late August 2009.

In one instance, during mid-September 2009, scammers phished $150,000 off a Maine fuel company, while in another, in October 2009, hackers siphoned about $77,000 from a business managing an erstwhile air-force base located in New Hampshire.

Moreover, Doug Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst at the American Bankers Association, stated that it's important to have widespread awareness about this attack, with community banks need to realize that it's targeting them too in addition to the big-sized banks, reported Bank Info Security on October 26, 2009.

The FDIC, in the final week of October 2009, reported that it had got similar complaints of a fraudulent phishing e-mail, which spoofed the agency, stating that the recipient's bank had failed, but was actually aimed at stealing account information of the recipients.

Related article: Finjan Brings Out Report on Web Malware

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