FDIC calling? Not!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is warning of fraudulent phone calls from scam artists or bill collectors who falsely state they are working for the federal bank regulator. The FDIC says it has received numerous reports of unsolicited and suspicious telephone calls to individuals during which the caller claims to represent the FDIC and is calling regarding the collection of an outstanding debt.

To date, the callers have alleged that the person who answers the call is delinquent in payment of a loan that was applied for over the Internet or made through a payday lender. The loan may not actually exist. The caller attempts to authenticate the claim by providing sensitive personal information, such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth, supposedly taken from the loan application. The person receiving the call is then strongly urged to make a payment over the phone to "avoid a lawsuit and possible arrest." In some instances, the callers have been aggressive and threatening.

These suspicious telephone calls are fraudulent. Anyone who receives such a call should consider it as an attempt to steal money or collect personal identifying information. The FDIC generally does not initiate unsolicited telephone calls to consumers and is not involved with the collection of debts on behalf of operating lenders and financial institutions.

If a caller demonstrates that he or she has your sensitive personal information, such as Social Security number, date of birth, and bank account numbers, you may be (or may become) the victim of identity theft. Review your credit reports for signs of possible fraud. Get free annual copies of your credit reports from the three major credit reporting bureaus at Annual Credit Report.com (www.annualcreditreport.com). Examine the reports closely for items you do not recognize and dispute inaccurate accounts.

If you are a victim of ID theft, you can place a fraud alert on your credit reports. This can be done by contacting one of the three consumer reporting companies listed below. Only one of the three companies needs to be contacted. That company is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of the report.

TransUnion: 800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California 92834-6790

Equifax: 800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, Georgia 30374-0241

Experian: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9554, Allen, Texas 75013

Information about online and email fraud and other fraudulent activity using the FDIC name may be forwarded to the FDIC's Cyber-Fraud and Financial Crimes Section, 550 17th Street, N.W., Room F-3054, Washington, D.C. 20429, or sent by email to [email protected] Questions related to federal deposit insurance or consumer issues should be submitted to the FDIC using an online form that can be accessed at http://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's website, and consumers can sign up for automatic alerts via emaill.

 
 
 

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