The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers not to open a bogus email that claims to come from the FTC. The email states it is from the FTC Fraud Department and carries a virus.
"A bogus email is circulating that says it is from the FTC referencing a complaint filed with the commission against the email's recipient," the Commission advises.
The email includes links and an attachment that download a virus. As with any suspicious email, the FTC warns recipients not to click on links within the email and not to open any attachments.
The spoof email includes a phony senders 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 emails true origin, according to the FTC.
"The email includes the FTC seal but contains grammatical errors, misspellings, and incorrect syntax," according to the federal regulators.
The FTC asks recipients of the email to forward it to email@example.com and then delete the document.
The feds promise that emails sent to the spam address will be filed away in the FTCs spam database to assist with future investigations.
Simply opening the email does not appear to cause harm, according to the FTC. However, it is likely that anyone who has opened the emails attachment or clicked on the links has downloaded the virus on their computer, and should run an anti-virus program< the commission warned in a news release.
The virus appears to install a key logger that could potentially grab passwords and account numbers, the FTC said.
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