The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) posted an alert warning that a “US Trading Commission” website is a scam and not associated with the FTC.
While the imposter website uses the FTC’s seal and address, the website is not part of the FTC and is designed to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
“It claims it operates a ‘personal data protection fund’ to compensate people whose personal information has been exposed on the web,” the alert says. “The site says you can ‘instantly receive’ a cash payment by clicking on some links and giving the site your personal data and bank account or electronic wallet information. Of course, if you do that, your money will be gone, you may download malware onto your device, and scammers can misuse your personal information and steal your identity.”
The imposter site pops up as a YouTube link and has several different URLs. Victims as far away as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Latvia have reported the site to the FTC, with several of them reporting financial losses, according to the alert.
“Here’s what you need to know. The FTC does shut down scams and return money to people who lost it to dishonest or unfair business practices,” the alert states. “But we will never ask for money, or for your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number so that you can get a refund.”
The FTC is requesting that anyone who may have encountered this scam or other scams to report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov and anyone who may have had their personal information taken, to visit identitytheft.gov.