New FTC Email Scam

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The notices showed up in his inbox, with an official-looking seal, lame emblem, glaring misspellings and a bizarre postscript.

Flow Fenner was told his Social Security number would be put on hold and he'd be arrested within 48 hours for owing more than $8,200.

Flow told me, “I'm angry, I'm frustrated, I'm upset because it could have taken me and my kids out of everything that we have, you know, our savings, the kids' college tuition."

I told Flow the emails were scare tactics by thugs to get him to fork over money he didn't owe. What was alarming and different about this case is that the thief actually knew his entire Social Security number.

Flow believes that's because crooks took over his bank account three weeks ago and the issue still hasn't been resolved.

Flow says, “Right now it's tax time and you've got crooks up on the loose, trying to get people for everything that they've got. So then I thought, 'Wait a minute, 11 News, you know, Betty Sexton. She always has everyone's back.'"

I helped Flow contact one of the three credit reporting agencies, which alerted the others. Now his Social Security number is flagged and no one can open up credit in his name without first contacting him. We also notified federal authorities.

Remember, don't let crooks scare you with their phony emails and random phone calls. All contact with a federal agency typically starts through the U.S. mail. They will never threaten you or demand that you pay upfront. You will always be given plenty of time to respond.