So here is how it begins. You are taken in by some scammers and lose a lot of money. You try and get your money back but all of the phone numbers and websites have ceased working. You try the police but there is nothing that they can do. You report your losses to a recovery company and they ask for a lot of money up front so you decline. Then, a few weeks later you get an email from the FTC saying this:
And you're so relieved to see someone taking action that you overlook the incorrect English within the text. You click the link and are taken through to a form to report your malady to the FTC, the Americans. Someone who may actually be able to take action! Looking at the domain, it is a .com, which is sort of OK, but it does say at the top of the site:
"An official website of the United States government"
Next to a US of America flag, so shouldn't it be a .gov domain? Looking a bit more closely you start to notice that the whole domain is a little strange, why would the FTC use https://reportfraud-ftc.com/? Surely they could have reportfrauc.ftc.gov, and if we go to that address we can see that this is the domain they actually use, so wait a minute. Is this site a clone, phishing scam of the FTC? Yes, it actually is!
So here we have it. The scammer recovery companies have given up trying to scam you with a second bite, charge you up-front for getting a refund from the bank scam and moved on to the fake FTC scam.
This has put us in the rather unfortunate position of having to report a Fake FTC site to the FTC, but sometime you just have to do something that seems really ironic.
So the scammers have even produced a fake scammer video to try and convince you that they are the real FTC:
Now who changed this video is unclear - it is a real FTC video - they just copied it somehow and changed the very ending so that it reads the wrong domain name. Either way they have used Microsoft Clip as the file name was 'Untitled-video-Made-with-Clipchamp' and they have left the default name as a way of covering their tracks.
Either way the site is extremely similar to the real thing, so make sure that any US government sites you are taken through to have a .gov at the end of the link before the slash, so it should look like https://www.ftc.gov/ with nothing else before the www except forward slashed and nothing after the .gov but forward slashes.
Good luck and stay safe!