FinCEN name used in scam

Thursday, 5 February 2004, 12:24 PM EST

In recent weeks, electronic con artists representing themselves as federal officials have used public concern about terrorism to mislead naive e-mail users into divulging personal banking information online, according to Treasury Department officials.

The department issued an alert Feb. 3 to warn that a spam scheme now making the rounds uses the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a Treasury bureau, to intimidate and deceive the public. Known in law enforcement circles as "phishing," the scam involves e-mailing letters that appear to be from FinCEN, even through the official-looking letters are somewhat crude in their imitation. Network officials have the authority to monitor and analyze the bank transactions of suspected terrorists and terrorist organizations.

By Florence Olsen at FCW.

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