In a Feb. 12 blog, Colleen Tressler, Federal Trade Commission Consumer Education Specialist, writes, “Fake funeral notice can be deadly – for your computer.”
Tressler discusses the latest scam by those trying to get people to click on email message links that will download malware to their computers.
According to the FTC, scammers send out bogus emails with a subject line such as, “funeral notification.” The email message looks as if it comes from a legitimate funeral home, provides condolences and invites recipients to click on a message link for more information about the upcoming celebration of your friend’s life service.
Instead of linking to the funeral home website, the link goes to a foreign domain where the scammers download malware to your computer.
The malware may include spyware and viruses that can install themselves onto your computer and can cause your device to crash, monitor and steal personal information, send spam or otherwise commit fraud.
The FTC urges consumers not to click on links to the messages. Instead, if necessary, the funeral home or family can be called directly to verify the information.
Keep your computer security software up to date and backup data regularly. Avoid responding to messages and opening attachments unless you know who sent them or what they are about, and you trust the source.