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FTC e-mails spoofed: Internet crime

Date: October 31, 2007
Source: InformationWeek
By: Thomas Claburn

The Federal Trade Commission, which regularly goes after spammers for violating the law, Monday warned that a spammer is sending out bogus e-mail messages that purport to come from the FTC.

The FTC said that the fraudulent e-mail makes reference to an FTC complaint supposedly filed against the message's recipient. The message includes links and an attachment that download a virus.

"Simply opening the e-mail does not appear to cause harm," said the FTC. "However, it is likely that anyone who has opened the e-mail'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."

The apparent originating e-mail address, frauddep@ftc.gov, is fraudulent, according to the FTC, as is the information in the messages return-path and reply-to fields. "While the e-mail includes the FTC seal, it has grammatical errors, misspellings, and incorrect syntax," the FTC said.

The FTC has asked recipients of such messages to forward them to spam@uce.gov and then to delete them.
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