Weather Forecast


Editorial : Be on the look out for new e-mail scams

Every other day we hear about a new scam and a new way for someone to access our personal information and bank accounts.

We need to protect ourselves against these people and be on the lookout.

One of the newest scams comes by e-mail.

A new phishing scam is making the rounds disguised as a consumer complaint notification from the FTC, according to the Bureau of Better Business (BBB). If you receive it, just hit “delete.”

How the scam works: You get an email that appears to be from the FTC with the subject line: “Notification of a Consumer Complaint.” The e-mail states that a complaint has been filed against your business, and you need to review and respond to the allegations.

The e-mail provides a link for you to supposedly click through to the FTC website and download a PDF of the complaint details. It really goes to a third party website, and the file you download is actually malware that scans your computer for personal and banking information.

Like most scams, this one is not set in stone. Several variations already exist, and scammers will continue to alter the e-mails as news of the con spreads. Watch out for changes in the subject line and the complaint details. Older reports of the scam involve emails that urge recipients to call a fake FTC help hotline or complete an online complaint form.

The BBB gives some advice on how to spot a phishing e-mail.

n Don’t believe what you see. Scammers can make links look like they lead to legitimate websites (as in the example above) and emails appear to come from a different sender. It’s also easy to steal the colors, logos and e-mail header of the FTC or any other established organization.

n Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. Do not click on the links or open the files.

n Check a link’s true destination by hovering over it and looking in the lower right hand corner of your browser.

n Try Googling the organization or the contents of the e-mail. If the e-mail is a scam, this is likely to reveal an alert or bring you to the organization’s real website, where they may have posted further information.

For more information, go to