Feds Detail Scam US Trading Commission Website
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The US Department of Homeland security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reports the scammers are leveraging a spoofed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website to steal money.
The fake FTC website is called the US Trading Commission. It impersonates the official FTC website with the use of the FTC official seal and street address. This is to fool consumers into thinking the US Trading Commission is associated with the FTC.
The imposter website maintains that it has access to a “personal data protection fund” to reimburse people who have been the victim of an online data breach.
The cybercriminals who run the site also state that it can facilitate cash payments to reimburse consumers for their losses.
What is an Impersonation Scam?
An impersonation scam is a type of fraudulent activity where fraudsters pretend to be an agency or organization. They use official logos to help trick the victims into believing that their emails and websites are official. In an impersonation scam, cybercriminals often use websites better designed to look almost identical to official websites.
The URLs may be hard to discern from the legitimate website domain names.
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Scammers Spoof FTC Website to Steal Money from Consumers
In the FTC impersonation scam, consumers are prompted to enter their personal details as well as banking information or digital wallet. The victim enters banking information thinking that this is where their payment will be sent to. However, the bank account information is stolen by the scammers instead.
“The real FTC does not require such information and scammers can use this information to steal consumers’ money and identities,” says the CISA advisory posted today.
The scammers claim that cash payments can be made to any country.
“People as far away as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Latvia have reported the site to the FTC, and several have reported losing money,” says the FTC in a post about the impersonation scam.
How to Avoid the FTC Impersonation Scam
This scam website appears as a YouTube link and uses several different website URLs to trick consumers and evade authorities.
- Although the FTC does help people reclaim financial losses from online scams, they do not transfer money online – ever
- Send money using a legitimate money transfer service
- The FTC does not ask consumers for payment for their services
- Use an antivirus app to help you avoid scam websites
- The FTC does not ask for credit card information or payment card information for any reason
- When the FTC does reimburse a victim, they do so by sending a check via postal mail
- Never click on the link in an email from someone you don’t know
If you’ve seen this scam or any other, tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov