Scam of the day – January 1, 2017 – Phony FTC complaint phishing email

The Federal Trade Commmission ( FTC) does a pretty good job of protecting consumers from fraud.  Unfortunately the latest fraud about which the FTC recently issued a warning involves an email that appears to come from the FTC, but is actually the work of an identity thief.  This scam has been appearing periodically for about three years and is having a new resurgence. The phony email contains a good copy of the FTC’s logo and looks quite official.  It is not.

Here is a copy of one version of this email.

“This notification has been automatically sent to you because we have received a consumer complaint, claiming that your company is violating the CCPA (Consumer Credit Protection Act).
According to our policy, we have initiated a formal investigation before taking legal action. You can download the document containing the complaint and the plaintiff contact information, from…” followed by a link.

If you receive such an email, do not click on the link.  The email is phony and if you click on the link, you will only end up downloading a keystroke logging malware program that will steal the information from your computer including your Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and passwords and end up making you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

When you receive an email you can never be sure of who sent it.  Sometimes you can immediately tell that the email address of the sender is not a legitimate email address for the company or person that it purports to be, however, other times a legitimate email account may have been hacked into and used to send the phishing email.  Never click on a link or download an attachment in an email unless you are absolutely positive that it is legitimate and the only way to do that is to confirm that the email is legitimate such as by calling on the telephone the person who sent it to you to confirm that it is indeed legitimate.  In the case of this email, your should be immediately skeptical because the email is not directed to you personally and does not contain your name anywhere.  If you have even the slightest thought that the email might be legitimate, contact the FTC at its dedicated line to deal with these kind of scams 877-382-4537 and you can confirm that it is a scam.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.