FTC: Scammers Hit New Low by Sending Fake “Funeral Notices”

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Scam artists are forever trying to trick people into clicking on links that will download malware to their computers. But the latest scam takes the trick to a new low. Scammers are sending bogus emails with the subject line “funeral notification.” The message appears to be from a legitimate funeral home, offers condolences, and invites you to click on a link for more information about the upcoming “celebration of your friend’s life service.” But instead of sending you to the funeral home’s website, the link downloads malware to your computer.

In “Fake funeral notice can be deadly – for your computer,” the FTC’s new blog post about this scam, consumers will find tips to reduce the risk of downloading unwanted malware and spyware.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

If you get an email about a friend or loved one’s passing, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says hit Delete. Don’t click on the link. You may then want to contact the funeral home or family directly to verify the information.

To reduce your risk of downloading unwanted malware and spyware:
•Keep your security software updated.
•Don't click on any links or open any attachments in emails unless you know who sent it and what it is.
•Download and install software only from websites you know and trust.
•Make sure your browser security setting is high enough to detect unauthorized downloads.
•Use a pop-up blocker and don't click on any links within pop-ups.
•Resist buying software in response to unexpected pop-up messages or emails, especially ads that claim to have scanned your computer and detected malware. That's a tactic scammers use to spread malware.
•Back up your data regularly.

For general tips about avoiding and getting rid of malware, visit Computer Security.

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