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April 17, 2021

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FDIC warns of scams saying nation’s banks in trouble

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NEW YORK — One of the nation’s bank regulators is urging Americans not to withdraw large sums of cash and to beware of fraudsters claiming that banks are limiting customers’ access to their money.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a statement Wednesday warning about an increase in scams trying to sow distrust in the U.S. financial system while the nation is dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many banks have shortened branch hours or are pushing customers to use online banking exclusively to avoid transmission of the virus. This has led more Americans to pull cash out of ATMs in some communities. Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, said the bank had ordered 30 percent more cash to keep up with withdrawals.

The FDIC says it has seen an uptick in calls, text messages, letters and emails from scammers pretending to be FDIC employees, using names of people who actually work at the FDIC.

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