Fake FTC e-mails contain virus attack

The FTC is warning that scammers are sending virus-laden emails that claim to come from the FTC itself.

Scammers are sending out virus-laden e-mails claiming to have information on complaints filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the FTC warned Monday.

The e-mail appears to come from frauddep@ftc.gov -- a spoofed address -- and it includes a malicious attachment that downloads keylogging software, which is used to steal sensitive information such as passwords and account numbers.

"While the e-mail includes the FTC seal, it has grammatical errors, misspellings, and incorrect syntax," the FTC said in an alert, released Monday. "Recipients should forward the e-mail to spam@uce.gov and then delete it." E-mail sent to this uce.gov address goes into the FTC's spam database, which is used by investigators.

Online scammers often masquerade as government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service in the hopes of tricking unsuspecting victims into clicking on attachments or visiting malicious Web sites.

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Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

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