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Dear Ann Landers: Your recent warning on scam artists using Y2K to bilk people out of money could not have been more timely.

A common scenario is as follows: Someone will call pretending to represent your bank. All that is needed, they say, is your credit card number for verification, and the bank will send a new strip to place over the magnetic strip on the back of your card. Ann, no bank would ever ask for your credit card number over the phone -- but a scam artist would.

Recently, bank regulators have heard about callers who promise to make your personal computer "Y2K ready." In fact, they may be scam artists out to steal bank account information from your software or to introduce a program that will transfer your money to them later.

Bank regulators have issued an advisory that warns consumers about Y2K scams and tells them how to protect themselves from becoming fraud victims. If consumers need a copy of the advisory, or think they have been the victims of a scam, please tell them to call the FDIC at (800) 934-3342.

-- Donna A. Tanoue, chairman, Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp., Washington, D.C.
Dear Ms. Tanoue: I very much appreciate your letter and your offer to help my readers. Thank you so much for writing.

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