Internet information scam uses Citi logo

Tuesday, 19 August 2003, 3:36 PM EST

Citigroup Inc.'s corporate logo is the latest one to be lifted by Internet scammers as a way to steal information from unwitting consumers.

The scam, known as "phishing," happens when thieves send consumers e-mails that appear to come from major corporations and direct them to bogus Web sites that look just like the company's real sites. The fake sites typically ask individuals to verify or update certain account information with personal data - in this case, Social Security numbers - which they then can use to obtain phony credit cards and other items.

Citigroup said it is working with law enforcement officials to investigate the fraudulent e-mails, adding that it doesn't ask customers to provide sensitive information in this way.

Though the e-mail's salutation reads, "Dear Citibank customer," several noncustomers received the e-mail - the first clue that it is fake. Still, at first glance, the e-mail looks authentic: It uses Citigroup's red and blue corporate logo and has a link to the official Web site. A closer look, however, shows that the sender isn't from Citigroup but from Juno.com and Yahoo.com addresses.

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