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FTC Warns of Fake Consumer Complaint Scams

FTC Warns of Fake Consumer Complaint Scams
The FTC warns businesses about fake customer complaint emails. / Credit: Complaint image via Shutterstock

No business owner likes to see customer complaints, but a new email scam could be even more damaging than an unsatisfied client, according to a new warning from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC is warning businesses about emails sent with the subject line "Pending consumer complaint." The email looks like it's from the FTC and informs recipients that a complaint against them has been filed with the government. However, it likely contains malware, the agency said.

The emails ask recipients to click on a link or attachment for more information, or to contact the FTC.

"These emails pull out all the stops to look official: They have an FTC seal, references to the "Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)" and a "formal investigation," and what look like real FTC links," Amy Hebert, a consumer education specialist for the FTC, wrote on the agency's blog. "The truth is that they're fakes."

The FTC advised those who receive such emails to not open them or click on any of the links, as they may contain malware.

"Malware can cause your device to crash, and can be used to monitor and control your online activity, steal your personal information, send spam and commit fraud," Hebert wrote.

Businesses that receive such emails should forward them to the FTC's email address for deceptive spam —  spam@uce.gov — and then delete the message immediately.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.