Small businesses, beware. The Federal Trade Commission just warned that a scam email is circulating that falsely claims there is an FTC complaint against businesses. The email contains a link that can install a virus or other other malware on your computer. If you receive such an email, DO NOT click the link and delete the email.
This follows the same template as the fake BBB malware scam emails that circulate from time to time. Criminals love to use trusted names in order to fool the unwary.
BBB reminds consumers to be wary of any emails from unknown senders, or suspicious emails from people you know. Here are a few tips to help avoid malware, spyware and phishing (attempts to steal your personal information via email):
- Never reply to an email that is asking you for personal information. Even if the email appears to be from a trusted source, this may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to illegitimately obtain your personal or financial information. Delete the email immediately.
- Do not click on any links from sources that you are unfamiliar with. This may be a phishing attack, where someone is trying to redirect you to a website that may automatically trigger malicious code and infect your computer. If you really want to check out a link sent to you by email, research the company or individual first to confirm they are trustworthy. If so, then manually retype the link into a secure web browser.
- Keep anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-spam software up to date. While consumers are ultimately responsible for keeping personal and financial information private, these technologies are designed to help keep phishing attacks at a minimum.
- Go to the source. If the email appears to be from a government agency or organization like BBB, look up the agency’s contact information and contact the agency directly. Don’t click suspicious-looking links in emails, no matter who the sender appears to be.