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Business Fraud Alert! 


Businesses across New Jersey are being inundated with fraudulent letters and emails claiming to be from Equifax, the Department of Transportation and other recognizable companies. Besides being fraudulent in nature, these letters and emails also commonly request that specific financial information, including your company’s bank account number, be faxed to them using an enclosed form entitled "Authorization to Release Financial Information." 
Please do not respond to any such request. If you receive such a letter or email request, please immediately contact your local Columbia Bank branch or call us at 800-522-4167.

Fraudulent E-mails That Appear To Be From FDIC

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent e-mails that have the appearance of being from the FDIC. The e-mails appear to be sent from various "@fdic.gov" e-mail addresses, such as "protection@fdic.gov," "admin@administration.fdic.gov," "service@admin.fdic.gov," "subscriptions@fdic.gov," "alerts@fdic.gov," or "hgrene@fdic.gov."

They have various subject lines such as "Update for your banking account," "ACH and Wire transfers disabled," "Banking security update," "We have important news regarding your bank," or "We have important news regarding your financial institution."

The fraudulent messages state:

"Dear clients," or "Dear Business Customers," or Dear Business Owners,"

"Your account ACH and Wire transactions have been temporarily suspended for your Security, due to the expiration of your security version. To download and install the newest Updates, follow this link. As soon as it is set up, your transaction abilities will be fully restored. Best regards, Online security department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation."

These e-mails and links are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Recipients should consider these e-mails an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users' computers. Recipients should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mails and should NOT install any related files or software updates.

Financial institutions and consumers should be aware that these fraudulent e-mails may be modified over time with other subject lines, sender names, and narratives. The FDIC does not directly contact bank customers, nor does the FDIC request bank customers to install software upgrades.

For your reference, FDIC Special Alerts may be accessed from the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/news/news/SpecialAlert/2011/index.html. To learn how to automatically receive FDIC Special Alerts through e-mail, please visit www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.