Pardon me while I rant a bit.
I just spent a very frustrating 40 minutes attempting to find out something very basic: an e-mail address. Go ahead, try to find an e-mail address at Treasury.gov. Any e-mail address. Ain’t there.
Why does it have to be e-mail? Because I received one of those “phishing” e-mails. You know the ones: “There is a problem with your bank account, please click the hyperlink below and send us all the information we need to rob you blind” e-mails. You’ve probably got one or two in your inbox right now.
Two things made this one different: One was that it claimed to be from the FDIC, and threw all kinds of dire-sounding warnings about the Department of Homeland Security and Patriot Act around. The funny thing was that it claimed that the deposit insurance on my accounts had been “suspended”, which is ludicrous. The second thing was that the link I was supposed to click and “verify” my information re-directed to a server in Pakistan.
Pakistan? Yep. This is what really peaked my interest. Normally, you see, I would just have deleted it and continued on my way. But a server in Pakistan raised at least the possibility that some-one has decided to fleece Americans for Allah. (IOW, there is a possibility of terrorist financing). Now, admittedly, it could be “ordinary” crime. But I am not equipped to determine that. Who is, well, that would be either the Office of International Finance or the Office of Foreign Assets Control, both US Treasury offices. What would they need to investigate this? Well how about the e-mail that I received, with the hyperlinks and header information, wouldn’t that be necessary evidence?
But how am I supposed to report this possible activity like a good citizen when the damn Treasury Department doesn’t have any e-mail addresses on their web site?
And, yes, I am going to blame this on the Bushies, you knew that was coming, didn’t you? In 1999 it was possible to find e-mail addresses at treasury.gov. I know, because I did it before. Now, you can’t even find the webmaster’s email address. Like at Whitehouse.gov, the only way to contact electronically is through a web form. I know that the whitehouse.gov site was redesigned for political reasons - you first have to identify what policy area you are writing about and whether you support or oppose W’s policy before you can submit your comments. It would be odd if this was also political. It’s probably just a reflection of the fact that the current administration really doesn’t like citizen input.
OK, I may be reading too much into this. But Og damn it (gratuitous Pit-required oath), can’t our government be at least as Internet-savvy as our adversaries?
Pardon me while I rant a bit.
I hate it when I can’t contact someone by e-mail. That said, three clicks at the Treasury Department website found me this page, which has an 866 number you can call.
I just happened to have been reading this article earlier today.
Oh, they’re savvy, all right. Remember, this is the administration that sticks its fingers in its ears and shouts “LALALALALALALA” when people criticize it, except, of course, for the taking of names so that Homeland Security has a good idea of who’s a subversive.
Somebody didn’t click on that well-hidden ‘Contact Treasury’ link at the top of their homepage.
Yes, I guess some-one didn’t click it, or they would have seen that that link takes you the very web form the OP (me) complained about. Otherwise it’s all snail mail and phone numbers.
KSO, I did wind up calling, but seeing the time and day, there was no-one really there. Well, there was a nice phone operator, but he didn’t have any e-mail addresses, either. Not even for the webmaster.
RevTim, thank, I’ll try the FDIC. I didn’t at first, because even though this supposedly came from them, I know that the FDIC doesn’t do international finance investigations.
The first link on the contacts page that I checked (Office of Domestic Finance) gets you an email address. Regardless, a bit of common sense would have directed you to the FBI, which has information and contact information about this latest spam.
Or even maybe the Secret Service, seeing as how they’re the ones involved in investing counterfeiting and part of the Treasury Department. I know this isn’t counterfeiting, but they might be able to pass it along.
Actually, the lead agency for these investigations is the Treasury Dept. I get notices form OFAC every week at work. I’d just like to be able to return the favor.
And, Brutus, I know that you think the Bushies are all apple pie and sunshine and everything nice, but read your own links before you use such a snide tone to post them. The Office of Domestic Finance is not the correct agency for international terrorism funding investigations. Reading the website would confirm that the correct agency is the Office of International Finance. Which has no email address. :wally:
That’s a piss-poor website for contacting anyone, and it is the Bushie’s fault – for all the crap Gore took about his misconstrued remark, he was really good at getting agencies on board with web communication and it’s sad to see the progress rolled back.
That said, another place besides the FDIC you might try is the Rewards for Justice Program, as it would also not suprise me to find that the right people aren’t talking to each other. There’s a webform, anonymous or not, at the top left of the page. In another example of poor design, the Rewards for Justice Program doesn’t say it directly but this page at Treasury indicates they’re also the guys to contact about potential terrorist financing initiatives.
Hope you hook 'em up with a big one!
I never claimed that the ODF was the proper address to report email scams to. It was a refutation to your claim of, “…when the damn Treasury Department doesn’t have any e-mail addresses on their web site?”. They clearly do have at least some addresses on their web site.
I really hate those webforms, too. However, is it also the Bushies’ fault that any number of Congress-critters (some of them even Democrats) also have these horrible things in place of actual e-mail addresses, too? I suspect it has more to do with the transmission of, and vulnerabiltiy to, e-mail viruses than any political fantasy you may have.