Cybercriminals prove that they are not above taking advantage of highly-trusted government agencies. We recently received a sample of a spam campaign targeting the US Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the US government. The FTC protects consumers by receiving their complaints lodged against businesses and organizations, and taking action to resolve the complaints.
The received sample takes advantage of the FTC's purpose and reputation. Besides being made to look like an official email from the FTC, the body of the email also scares the recipient into clicking a supplied link by stating that a customer had allegedly lodged a complaint against the recipient's business, and that their cooperation is urgently needed. The email text goes on to say that if the recipient does not resolve the complaint quickly, then they may be prosecuted and charged exorbitant monetary penalties or even imprisoned.
The hyperlink that the email directs the recipient to click has been deemed malicious. Users are warned not to open it, nor to open any links or attachments in similar emails unless the identity of the sender is verified first.