No, The FTC Did Not Email You That You’re Under Investigation

Image courtesy of STL Okie)

If the Federal Trade Commission is investigating you or your business, they will not send you an email asking you to click on a link for more information. How do we know that? The Federal Trade Commission says so.

Instead, this email is a scam that refuses to go away. It uses the same principle as fake IRS tax scams: people are scared of the effect that government investigation or enforcement can have on their lives, which might lead them to click on something they normally wouldn’t, or to give $6,000 worth of iTunes gift card numbers over the phone.

The FTC reports that the email one target received said something like:

“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…”

Getting targets to click on the “download” link, of course, is the point of this scheme. It might be a link that harvests personal information from the user. Clicking the link might also deliver malware that turns your computer into a zombie spam-sending machine, or locks up your files and demands ransom to get them back.

The real FTC reminds us all that it does not deliver news of pending investigations to your email address, and you should not click on links in messages that you were not expecting.

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