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Fraudsters impersonating Federal Trade Commission steal victims' financial info - WPLG Local 10

Phishing scam targets victims’ desire to get COVID-relief funds

FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

MIAMI – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody warned on Monday there are fraudsters who are impersonating Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan to steal financial information.

In a strategy known as phishing, the fraudsters are massively sending a fake e-mail trying to exploit victims’ desire to receive COVID-relief funds. The e-mail claims the recipient is eligible for financial relief, but in exchange, they have to provide their bank information.

The FTC is not tasked with distributing COVID-19 stimulus or relief money.

“These brazen scammers are impersonating a federal agency charged with investigating and shutting down scams,” Moody said in a statement.

Fraudsters have also been using phone calls and text messages in their attempts to fool people into providing their personal information.

Moody is asking anyone who receives an email like this to avoid clicking on any links, to not reply, and to report it to the FTC at the Report Fraud website or e-mail the Anti-Phishing Working Group at [email protected] Moody said victims can also report the fraudsters at 1-866-966-7226 or MyFloridaLegal.com .

Moody’s tips to avoid falling victim to imposter scams

  • Do not automatically trust the number listed on caller ID, an email address, or a stamp on a piece of mail;

  • Avoid clicking on any suspicious links in messages;

  • To reach out to a company or government agency, look up the phone number listed online rather than the number provided in the email; and

  • Never give out personal or financial information in response to a solicitation.

  • Share this IRS Imposter Scams brochure by clicking here. To access the Scams at a Glance webpage for more content related to other common and emerging scams, click here.

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About the Author:
Andrea Torres

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.