EDITORS NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series offering tips and information for businesses, job-seekers and consumers.

EDITORS NOTE: This is part of an ongoing series offering tips and information for businesses, job-seekers and consumers.

While many people have lost their jobs in this recession, scam artists find a way to stay fully employed — and take advantage of people who are down on their luck. The Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants offers this advice on how to avoid becoming a victim. Scam No. 1, "We can repair your credit!" ran in Wednesday's paper.

Scam No. 2: We're your new bank!

Because of troubles in the banking industry, many financial institutions have been taken over by an entirely different organization. You may find that the institution you've banked with for years suddenly has a new name. Not surprisingly, con artists have figured out a way to take advantage of this situation, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Scammers send e-mails to consumers pretending to be an organization that has just bought your bank or mortgage. The e-mails demand that you verify or confirm your personal financial information, such as your account or credit card numbers, Social Security number, account passwords or other confidential information that they will then use to access your accounts or steal your identity.

The FTC warns that you should never respond to these "phishing" e-mails. Don't click on the links in the e-mail, open any attachments or call any phone numbers listed in it. Instead, it's best to contact your bank or lender directly, using the phone number listed on your bank or mortgage statements, and ask if they truly require information from you.

Tomorrow: Beware of scammers demanding up-front payments to "work from home."