FTC Warns of False Consumer Complaint Emails

Written By Thomas Ahearn

ESR News BlogThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning small businesses that an email with a subject line of “Pending consumer complaint” that falsely states a complaint has been filed against their company is not from the FTC. The FTC advises recipients of the email not to click on any links or attachments in the email since they may install a virus or spyware on the recipient’s computer. More information is available at http://www.ftc.gov//news-events/press-releases/2014/04/ftc-warns-small-businesses-dont-open-email-falsely-claiming-be.

A blog from the FTC explains the fake “Pending FTC complaint” pull out all the stops to look official. The emails have an FTC seal, references to the “Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)” and a “formal investigation,” and ask recipient’s to click on what look like real FTC links and attachments for more information or to contact the FTC. The truth is that the links and attachments are fakes and may install malware on computers if clicked. The blog is available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/pending-ftc-complaint-emails-are-fakes.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. For more information about the FTC, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.

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