A bogus e-mail message supposedly sent by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission contains spyware and targets corporate and banking executives as well as consumers, the FTC said Monday.
The bogus e-mail poses as an acknowledgment of an FTC complaint filed by the recipient, and includes an attachment. E-mail recipients who open the attachment to this e-mail can download malicious spyware onto their computers, the FTC said.
Recipients shouldn't open the e-mail; instead they should delete the message, the FTC advised.
The hoax e-mail is personalized, containing the name of the recipient and their business. The bogus message explains how the complaint will be used and says, "Attached you will find a copy of your complaint. Please print a hard copy of the complaint for your records in the upcoming investigation."
Consumers can learn more about protecting themselves from malicious spyware and bogus e-mail messages at OnGuardOnline.gov, a Web site created by the FTC in partnership with other federal agencies and the technology industry to help consumers stay safe online. The site includes information on spyware and phishing.