Banking Commissioner John P. Burke Warns
Of E-Mail Scam Targeting Banknorth Customers

February 3, 2005

State Banking Commissioner John P. Burke has recently become aware of a new e-mail scam targeting customers of Banknorth, NA. The e-mail appears to be a genuine notice from Banknorth offering a new program called PrivacyGuard® Identity Theft Protection and, for security purposes, asking customers to click on a link to reactivate their accounts.

"This is when the warning bells should sound," said Commissioner Burke. "Banks or other financial institutions DO NOT ask their customers to provide personal account information over the Internet. If you are a Banknorth customer and have received an e-mail requesting that you reactivate your account, be aware that it is a scam. Do NOT click on the link provided and do NOT supply your personal information."

"Unfortunately, these types of e-mail scams have become more frequent as e-mail usage has increased," continued Commissioner Burke. "The high-tech scammer is savvy in creating e-mails with links to what appear to be genuine Web sites, but instead are fraudulent sites that aim to steal personal information. I want to reinforce to consumers that no matter how genuine these may appear, legitimate Web sites will NEVER ask you to provide personal information that can be used to identify you or obtain your personal account information."

If you are the recipient of such an e-mail, be sure to notify your bank or on-line retailer at once and the institution will work with the Connecticut Department of Banking to investigate these matters. You may consider filing an individual complaint at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For more information on these and other types of Internet "phishing" scams please check out the Department of Banking's Web site.