Fake “FTC investigation” email making the rounds again

Scams are like weeds: they crop up, are treated and disappear, only to find a way to pop up again. Such is the case with a scam we’ve written about before. In this scam, the fraudster pretends to be from the FTC and emails people, telling them they’re under investigation and to click on a link for more information.

If you get one of these emails, stop. Do not click the link. The federal government doesn’t tell people they are under investigation by email.  Sometimes, the emails are phishing scams designed to collect personal information, including your email and IP addresses — information that could be used to commit identity theft. Other times, the links are used to install malware on your computer, which can make your device crash, or let the scammer monitor and control your online activity, steal your personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.

Bottom line: If you get an email saying you’re under investigation by the FTC, or required as a witness, the email is fake. You can forward the phony email to spam@uce.gov, the FTC’s email address for spam.  This database helps the FTC bring cases involving scams promoted via email. But, most importantly, delete the email.

For more information on how to spot an imposter scam, check out our Imposter Scam page.

Tagged with: email, imposter, malware, scam

Comments

Suggestion: if you don't know the sender, or didn't request info from an organization, right click on the sender and read the routing. Sometimes that tells you right away that the email isn't valid.

What can be done about unsolicited phone calls on my cell phone? I have received 12 in 2 days...my number is registered on the no call registry's list. The number shows but no I'd, do I don't answer most of the time. Some call,every day!! Thanks for any help.

There are several goo cell phone telemarketer apps available that stop most calls before they ring. many are free. The one I use is free and works quite well.

What one do you use?

My cell phone. I get about 6 calls a day. My number is 408 xxx xxxx

What about products advertised a free samples and then there is a n automatic monthly charge on your credit card?

Considering free offers? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do your research. See what other people are saying about the free trials and the company. Search the name of the company and “complaint” or “review.” 
  • Look at the terms and conditions. If you can’t find them, or can’t understand them, don’t sign up.
  • Find out how to cancel. Look for information on what to do if you don’t want the product anymore. Do you still have to pay?  Do you have a limited time to cancel?
  • Mark your calendar. Your free trial offer probably has a time limit. Once it passes without you cancelling, you may owe money.
  • Read your credit and debit account statements. That way, you’ll know right away if you’re being charged for something you didn’t order.

 Want to know more? Check out our guidance on “Free” Trial Offers. And if you’ve been wrongly charged for a free trial offer, report it to the FTC.

12/28/2016 Wednesday 1:47 P.M. EST

It gets so bad, I disconnect my home landline. Even complaining to all the govt. agencies does not stop these pests.I read a few days ago that AT&T has some new app for their cell phone users but, check out their web site. For other carriers, I don't know.

I see FTC and the spam email I think is a joke. I have sent a hundred emails or more to them from those headhunter's ACS and Ace even written to FTC numerous times as well as IC3, BBB and DLLR. The lady from DLLR say that they have no license in my state but nobody cares. They have sent threatening, harassing emails as well as arrest warrants and after hundreds of emails they are still going strong. They say they have proof that I took out a loan for $300 but cannot/refuse to tell me a date as to when this transaction took place. They said that when I pay they will send the date. They have given me two dates and when I tell them it's not on my bank statement they send an email saying since you do not communicate with us we are sending this to court. Then they send an email stating that they have been trying since August of 2015 to get a payment then send another one saying that I took the loan out in September of 2015. I have my bank statements that proves different. Why can't this be stopped?

Honestly, let them take you to court. In court, they have to prove the validity of the debt. I have had a similar situation happen to me with one of my student loans. I had been having ID theft issues for several years and narrowed it down to 3 entities, a state government branch and two banks. I recently was married and decided to update my information one at a time to figure it out. It turned out it was one of banks. The agent I was dealing with kept requesting my Birth Certificate, ID, and Marriage license to update the name on my account. It was requested fax and or email. I had already sent the information twice, via mail and fax. My information was being used to get credit cards to make very expensive retail purchases. I was able to narrow this down because the information being used was in the same state at the bank, and I only did business with that bank in that state. So when they started threatening me after I refused to send them anymore information, I said go ahead. Take it to court. Now after court, I don't deal with that bank any more. If I need anything I'll go through the US Department of Education. Life is much easier, and there have been no more fraudulent activity. Go figure.

Pages

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.