Hijacking George -- Scam and Satire

January 22nd, 2004

I recently received an email message from the FDIC:

To whom it may concern;

In cooperation with the Department Of Homeland Security, Federal, State and
Local Governments your account has been denied insurance from the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation due to suspected violations of the Patriot
Act. While we have only a limited amount of evidence gathered on your account at
this time it is enough to suspect that currency violations may have occurred
in your account and due to this activity we have withdrawn Federal Deposit
Insurance on your account until we verify that your account has not been
used in a violation of the Patriot Act.

As a result Department Of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge has advised
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to suspend all deposit insurance on
your account until such time as we can verify your identity and your account

Please verify through our IDVerify below. This information will be checked
against a federal government database for identity verification. This only takes
up to a minute and when we have verified your identity you will be notified
of said verification and all suspensions of insurance on your account will be


Failure to use IDVerify below will cause all insurance for your account to
be terminated and all records of your account history will be sent to the
Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington D.C. for analysis and
verification. Failure to provide proper identity may also result in a visit
from Local, State or Federal Government or Homeland Security Officials.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Donald E. Powell
Chairman Emeritus FDIC

John D. Hawke, Jr.
Comptroller of the Currency

Michael E. Bartell
Chief Information Officer

Oh, dear! I'd better follow those instructions so that my account remains in good standing.
I clicked on the link.

The site it takes me to looks like the FDIC, but it is not secure and contains a bunch of numbers instead of the FDIC domain name.
Oh, well. No matter. I filled in the information from a well-known Hollywood celebrity.

On to screen two. I'm sure Micky won't mind.

This is easier than I thought. I feel better already.

This is called "phishing." That particular website was based in Karachi, Pakistan. This kind of scam is very easy to do. Take a look at my version of the "White House" website -- just follow the link below.


Be careful. It's a jungle out there.