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Federal agencies warn about new phishing scam, give details on $225 million fine to telemarketing group

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 11:21 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - With economic stimulus payments on the way, Action 2 News wants to give you a heads up on a new version of a phishing e-mail scam.

Earlier this year, we told you in our Consumer First Alert about fake e-mails promising coronavirus relief money that looked like they were coming from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Here are three things to know about this new scam:

1. The FTC says scammers are spoofing the acting FTC Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter.

2. The FTC says it won’t e-mail, text, call or message you on social media to ask for personal information, your banking information, or your social security number.

3. Don’t give out personal information, or reply to unexpected messages.

Remember, the FTC doesn’t send people coronavirus relief money - the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS are handling that.

If you get an e-mail like this, report it to the FTC by CLICKING HERE.

Now, for good news for anyone annoyed by robocalls.

This past week, the FCC announced a $225 million fine to Texas telemarketers, the largest fine in FCC history.

The calls claimed to offer health insurance plans from well known companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna.

The FCC says the callers were operating under the business names Rising Eagle and J Squared Telecom, and made about a billion spoofed robocalls in fewer than five months back in 2019.

One of the accused admitted to investigators that he made millions of spoofed calls a day, and knowingly called consumers on the do not call list, because he believed it was more profitable to target these people.

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