Among our favorite resources for best practices in identity theft protection is the “OnGuard Online Blog”. A recent blog posted by Consumer Education Specialist Amy Hebert alerted the public to the return of an old scam: The FTC Imposter Scam.
An email arrives in your inbox that tells you there’s a complaint against your business, and wants you to click on a link. Here’s what one of the scammy emails said:
“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.
At first glance, it might look legitimate. It has the FTC seal, the email appears to come from an FTC email address, and the web address looks like it goes to an FTC site. But if you hover over the web address, you’ll see the link actually sends you somewhere else.
If you get an email like this, don’t open it. And most important: don’t click on the links. Don’t open any attachments, either. If you do, you could install malware on your computer, causing your device to crash, or allowing a scammer to monitor and control your online activity, steal your personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. You can forward the phony email to firstname.lastname@example.org — but then delete it.
Government imposters aren’t just impersonating the FTC. If you get an unexpected email that says it’s from the government and asks you to click on links, open attachments, or share personal information, don’t do it. Even if you think it’s legitimate, it’s best to look up the number and contact the agency directly to check it out.
For more on best practices regarding identity theft protection, please visit www.hvshred.com