The scam employs e-mails with subject lines reading "Official information" or "Urgent information to all credit card holders," and asserts that a new law requires Internet users to identify themselves to the government to "create a secure and safer Internet community." The e-mail links to a Web site masquerading as regulations.gov and asks readers to provide personal financial information.
Regulations.gov allows visitors to review and comment on documents in the Federal Register. The site is part of the Bush administration's e-Government initiative, which is developing an
Phishing scams seek to trick account holders into divulging sensitive account information, usually through the use of fraudulent e-mails and web pages. To be effective, a phishing scam requires a trusted relationship and a plausible hook. The FTC alert emphasizes that there are no new rules or regulations that require citizens to share financial information through the Regulations.gov site. But recent news stories have raised awareness about state and federal government initiatives to aggregate information through databases.