Businesses and individuals are being targeted by the scammers using web sites and emails, the organisation warned. Recipients are typically offered 'grants' from the government, and must either surrender bank details to get the funds or make a small payment.
"Web sites may advertise that they can help you get money from the stimulus fund. Many use deceptive names or images of president Obama and vice president Biden to suggest that they are legitimate. They are not," said Eileen Harrington, acting director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Don't fall for it. If you do, you'll get scammed."
Several variants have also been discovered that use malware to steal important data. These include pages that purport to offer links to sites that show how to get the federal funds. The pages are loaded with malware that can penetrate an improperly patched browser.
"Consumers who may already have fallen for these scams should carefully check their credit card bills for unauthorised charges, and report the scam to the FTC," said Harrington.
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