After Hurricane Katrina, in both Florida and Louisiana, people signed up two and three times for FEMA assistance checks. I had a girlfriend that volunteered in Florida and she said that some of the people would come in 2-3 times a day for a check.
The FTC today issued an alert warning Web users to beware of spam relating to the Wall Street crisis. "Online scammers are taking advantage of tough economic times. While e-mails phishing for sensitive data are nothing new, scammers are taking advantage of upheavals in the financial marketplace to confuse consumers into parting with valuable personal information," the agency states.
Customers of JPMorgan Chase, Washington Mutual, Citigroup and Wachovia customers are all potential targets, according to USA Today (Cyberscams exploit consumers' financial unease - USATODAY.com 10/8/08).
If you are asked to verify your personal information, like name, account number, password, do not give your information to anyone. Do not complete any forms online unless you are sure that you are at the bank site and not a phishing site. If you receive an email that purports to be from your bank, do not click the links within the email. By doing so, you can begin a process by which keylogging or trojan programs may be loaded on your computer.
Be safe, be secure and be sure.