January 3 2017
FTC Warns of Email Scam Trying to Mimic the FTC Itself
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is alerting people to the re-appearance of a scam that seems to be coming from the FTC itself.
“Scams are like weeds: they crop up, are treated and disappear, only to find a way to pop up again,” the organization said in a scam alert. “Such is the case with a scam we’ve written about before. In this scam, the fraudster pretends to be from the FTC and emails people, telling them they’re under investigation and to click on a link for more information.”
If you get one of these emails, do not click the link. The FTC reminds people in the warning that the federal government doesn’t tell people they are under investigation by email.
“Sometimes, the emails are phishing scams designed to collect personal information, including your email and IP addresses — information that could be used to commit identity theft,” the warning reads. “Other times, the links are used to install malware on your computer, which can make your device crash, or let the scammer monitor and control your online activity, steal your personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.”
You can forward the phony email to email@example.com, the FTC’s email address for spam. This database helps the FTC bring cases involving scams promoted via email.
For more information on how to spot an imposter scam, check out the FTC’s Imposter Scam page.