Regulatory agencies have published a brochure, Internet Pirates Are Trying to Steal Your Information, to assist consumers in identifying and preventing a new type of Internet fraud known as "phishing." With this type of scam, individuals receive fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to be from their financial institution. The messages often appear authentic and may include the institution's logo and marketing slogans.
These messages usually describe a situation that requires immediate attention and state that customers' accounts will be terminated unless they verify their personal information by clicking on a provided web link. The web link then takes the recipients to a screen that asks for confidential information, including:
Those perpetrating the fraud then use this information to access consumers' accounts or assume their identities.
The brochure advises consumers:
The brochure is on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's web site, www.occ.gov/consumer/phishing.htm.