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Something Smells Phishy…

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Have you ever received an email from a business that asked you to respond with personal or financial information? Maybe even a text from a company that threatened to close your account if you didn’t verify your identity? That smells phishy.

Scammers are looking to lure you in with bogus emails and pop-ups that seem safe. In fact, if they get your information, they’ll use it to commit fraud.

Learn how to sniff out phishing attacks and avoid being scammed. 

Twitter chatJoin the FTC, Stop.Think.Connect., and others for a Twitter chat on phishing this Thursday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow @FTC and use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join the conversation!

Meanwhile, test your smarts against fraudsters with our phishing scams game.

Phishing Scams Game


Helpful info.

Just received a call from someone saying they were calling from Microsoft. (hmmm first indication something wrong). I was told that whenever I use Microsoft windows the office has received a “Notice of Malware threat”; and so far they have registered 1315 notifications.
“Mrs. ______ do you have your computer on now.” My answer “No”.
“Your computer is infected” My answer. “I have various virus checkers on my computer”
I can help you now, will you turn your computer on now. My answer “No”
I hung up.
Microsoft will NOT call you at home. The caller knew my name; easy enough to go on line and get names & addresses.

Turn on Computer, hmmm they now have access to my computer and I personally have allowed them in. Not good.
IN MY UNINFORMED OPINION: I personally feel this is a Scam to get access to all of your personal information on the computer and they have accomplished this with your approval, in fact you were willing let them into your computer, therefore you have no resource if your information is used.

Not good

Hi, Rose, we have a detailed blog post about tech support scams.

Got a call from a real state broker asking someone is interested in my timeshare condo and offer to buy with an approved loan from a bank. Sounds good until a so called loan agent from a bank, name and license #, calls to deposit money for title clearing using a Walmart money pack. Is this right???

Hi, Jamie. If you’re thinking of selling a timeshare, the FTC cautions you to question resellers — real estate brokers and agents who specialize in reselling timeshares. Take a look at our article on timeshares and vacation plans, specifically the section on selling your timeshare.

You have received a secure message

A wire transaction has been initiated to your bank account.

Transaction ID: 7405561625957
This email came to me:


To view the transaction report C

You will be prompted to login with a valid email to access the transfer details.

No, I did not respond; except by contacting BCP!!

I recently received an email that I know is fraudulent, so I have not been scammed, but can I report this somewhere so somebody can stop them?

Hi Carol,

You can forward the fraudulent message to and then delete it. Be sure to include the complete spam email, including the full email header. Emails sent to are added to the FTC’s database that law enforcement agencies use to generate cases.

You may want to read our article on spam to learn more about how you can reduce the amount of unwanted and deceptive emails.

My friend received a call today from a Morgan & Associates Law Firm saying that she owed $30,000 from a loan she never took out. They had her SSN and then said someone must have used it to take out a loan in her name. They tried to get her bank and other information, but they had a very strong accent and when she couldn't understand them she was able to check the phone number the call came from, I called it and it sounded like a call center-not a law firm. The person I was speaking with, who identified himself as Jason O'Connor, asked me for my case #, my SSN and when I said it sounded like a call center he hung up. Upon checking the internet, it seems it is a scam - I have the phone # and will try reaching you again tomorrow.

I use to work there 11years ago before I joined the military, if it really is Morgan and Associates, it is a Collection law firm, located in the Oil Center on NW expressway, in Oklahoma City, Ok

Got a call from 470-202-9021 and 470-202-9020 They are telling me they have a warrant for my arrest because I have bad checks from an account I closed in 2009. They said I had until 6 pm to pay in full. When I called the number back they refused to give the name of the company. They have given a bogus address through me calling and making a police report County Processors P.O.Box 614 Lawernceville GA 30019

Lol, a better question would be

"have you gotten an email that wasn't someone trying to scam you"......

It's hard to keep track of what is legitimate and what is fake these days. And there are limited restrictions on the selling of e-mail addresses.

@cbunn be careful when calling back. My father did that once called back a number about some sweepstakes he "won" out of curiosity somehow he ended up with a 1000$+phone bill for a 3 minute call. That was the whole phishing was to get people to call back to ask them to stop calling. I do believe the phone company removed it from the bill(since they weren't going to get it anyway)

Received 2 phone calls threatening to send the Sheriff out to get me if I didn't listen to what they had to say! 470-202-9020/9023

or you get a call saying that University of Michigan's social research center is calling and would like to survey you for the consumer sentiment survey. The survey data is actually collected as a for profit exercise in data mining and sold to thomson/reuters, who then resells it to high frequency traders that trade against the very same folks who answer the survey.

Sure sound like a deceptive phishing scheme to me. If you look at the website, do you see where it says it's private data and it will be used to front the markets before being released to the public? Survey respondents are not told this, and they unwittingly provide information on such things as their investments in the stock market.

What's worse is that this is already in the news and they say the front running is legal because it's private. But when you look at the survey questionaire it presents itself as University of Michigan, a public university.

It's not much different than a charity that raises donations (in this case it's information that is donated) and then pockets the money claiming they are not really a charity and a for profit entity.

Unfortunately there is a huge amount of money at stake in this scam.. and as if often the case, might makes right.

Cnbc has covered this issue, but most media stay away because they either 1) already sell 'early access' and do similar deceptive data mining, or 2) they want to start doing it as an income stream

The FTC should at least require them to disclose that they are a money making operation, not some poor college student doing survey work (though the college student IS poor, UofM and thomson/Reuters makes the money).

UofM has transformed what was a traditionally well respected survey into a money making phishing scam.

Could this possibly be an attempt at identity theft: A text message to a cell phone with only a phone number as sender info, asking a traveler to let them know if they want to get breakfast before leaving town? I responded without checking my contacts list because it was written in such familiar language that I assumed it was the person I was in town to visit, because the number was from the same area as my hotel. Thanks for any help.

I got a call on a Friday night after EDT business hours, claiming to be from Sallie Mae. They claimed my August payment was not received. Oddly enough, the check in question cleared nearly a month ago. They wanted my bank statement, and other account info. I told them they would not be getting any of that information. Was I correct in my thinking?

Received several calls from 508-463-0708 Morgan & Associates, guy named Patrick Mason (my left foot he was Patrick Mason, could barely speak English). They left VM's on my home AND work numbers saying that a criminal lawsuit was being issued against my name and SSN and that they would have to send out their legal investigators and law enforcement to my place of work. I hung up on him. SUPER angry that they would call my work with this garbage. I would expect that any LEGITIMATE claim against me or suit against me would come in writing and not from a phone call anyways, but how annoying. It was clearly intended to threaten and intimidate me into providing information.

I received the same exact voicemail. I've been receiving calls like these for years now and it always picks up around the holidays. Probably looking for money so they can do their shopping. SCAM, SCAM, SCAM!!!

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