A bogus email is circulating that says it is from the Federal Trade Commission, referencing a “complaint” filed with the FTC against the email’s recipient. The email includes links and an attachment that download a virus. As with any suspicious email – not to mention the spate of fraudulent emails dressed up like official government communications from the EEOC and IRS – the FTC warns recipients not to click on links within the email and not to open any attachments.
The spoof email includes a phony sender’s address, making it appear the email is from “firstname.lastname@example.org” and also spoofs the return-path and reply-to fields to hide the email’s true origin, according to a press release. And while the email includes the FTC seal – it also has grammatical errors, misspellings, and incorrect syntax.
Recipients should forward the email to email@example.com and then delete it. Emails sent to that address are kept in the FTC’s spam database to assist with investigations.
Simply opening the email does not appear to cause harm, according to the FTC. However, it says that it is likely that anyone who has opened the email’s attachment or clicked on the links has downloaded the virus on their computer, and should run an anti-virus program. The virus appears to install a “key logger” that could potentially grab passwords and account numbers.
More information about bogus emails, phishing, and virus protection is available at www.OnGuardOnline.gov .