(9/3/2003) Scammers have embraced the Internet's power, speed, flexibility and relative anonymity as tools to exploit unsuspecting folks into voluntarily giving them the very information they need to commit one of the fastest growing crimes - identity theft.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
C2it.com service would like to inform you, that you received money transfer from Andreas (email@example.com). Amount is $217. In order to receive that amount from c2it.com you have to register your ATM card to prove you are our customer.
Your e-mail is not registred with us, you need to setup account with us and verify your identity. Please fill this form to be enrolled to c2it.com service.
Once you register, the money will appear in your c2it's account balance in your overview page. You can withraw the outstanding balance to your credit or debt card's bank account...
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
The text above may appear as part of an e-mail message formatted to look as if it came from Citibank's C2it.com, an international money transfer service. Its professional appearance, coupled with natural human greed and curiosity have made this one a profitable scam for the crooks and a dangerous one for everyone else.
Scammers like to mimic popular and trusted companies in order to dupe you into giving them what they need. And, access to your bank account is just the tip of the iceberg. Scams like this one and an earlier one purporting to be a notice from Best Buy, are aimed at collecting vital information the thief can use to "become" you and use your identity to open accounts, get loans and otherwise benefit. This is known as Identity theft, and is among the fastest growing crimes in the world.
Neither Citibank, nor any other company, will ask you to submit personal information via e-mail. Never respond to such a message or fill out any forms contained in them. E-mail is not a secure medium and, once your information leaves your computer, you have no control over who has access to it.