Kip Tips


FTC Warns of New E-mail Scam

Cameron Huddleston

Small-business owners are the target of this phishing scheme.



The Federal Trade Commission is warning small-business owners not to open e-mails with the subject line "Notification of Consumer Complaint." The e-mail falsely claims to be from the FTC and states that a complaint has been filed with the government agency against their company.

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E-mails of this sort often prompt recipients to click on a link or open an attachment. However, these links and attachments usually install malware or a virus on your computer if you click on them. Then you're at risk of having personal information stored on your computer stolen.

The FTC says that you should delete such e-mails. It also offers tips on how to reduce your risk of downloading malicious software onto your computer.

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-- Keep your security software updated by setting it to update automatically.

-- Don't buy software in response to pop-up messages on your computer or e-mails. Scammers use ads that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware to get people to install malicious software.

-- Make sure your Internet browser security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads. For example, Internet Explorer users should have their security setting at medium, at a minimum.

-- Use a pop-up blocker on your browser (look for the security tab in your brower's options). Links in pop-ups can contain malware.

If you notice that your computer is running slower, crashes often or repeatedly displays error messages, it may have a virus. Other warnings signs include new toolbars or icons on your desktop, a barrage of pop-ups, Web sites that you didn't intend to visit displaying on your screen and a laptop battery that drains quickly.

See Protect Yourself From New Phishing Schemes for more advice on avoiding fraudulent e-mails.

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