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Scam Watch

June 24, 2007|David Colker

The scam: You've got mail, from the Federal Trade Commission.

The reality: The e-mail could be a hoax. Worse, it could unleash harmful spyware onto your computer.

The background: The agency announced last week that bogus e-mails have been cropping up across the nation, addressed to individuals and businesses from the FTC. They look convincing because they contain the names of the recipients.

How to tell: The message says it's in response to a complaint. It instructs the recipient to open an attachment and print a copy of the document. But opening the attachment downloads spyware that can add pop-up ads, monitor computer use and drastically slow down the machine.

FTC advice: If you receive one of these e-mails, delete it without opening the attachment and empty the deleted-items folder or basket.

-- David Colker

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