“Bureau of Defaulters” another government imposter scam

Thursday, March 12, 2015

 

Many consumers have received an email that claims to be from the “Bureau of Defaulters Agency”—purportedly a government agency affiliated with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that goes after people who they claim have unpaid, past-due debt. They threaten legal action and, in come cases, putting your Social Security number “on hold” if you don’t pay up.

The FTC, along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), protect the nation’s consumers—they don’t threaten them. And they are not debt collectors.

If you get such an email, do not respond. Forward it to [email protected] (the mailbox the FTC has set up to collect scam spam and potentially use it to build cases against fraudsters) and then delete it. You can also file a complaint with the agency.

Spam sometimes contains malware—malicious software designed to infect your computer and, in some cases, track your online activity or steal your data—that is installed if you open an attachment or link. If you have already clicked on something in the message, update and run your antivirus software. Follow the instructions if it detects a problem.

If you ever question the legitimacy of a communication that claims to be from a government agency, contact the agency using information you find in the phone directory or online—not numbers or website addresses contained in the questionable communication—and ask if the message, letter or phone call is legitimate.

 

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