The Federal Trade Commission has sued one of the world’s reputedly biggest spammers and the company it says he used to send thousands of false, alarming and threatening emails disguised as information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to the FTC, months before people could enroll for coverage under the ACA, the emails played off headlines about impending deadlines for selecting health insurance, pressuring recipients with messages including “Today is the deadline" and "Activate here before it's too late." The emails included phony consequences for not following the “warnings,” claiming that anyone who didn't elect coverage would be in violation of federal law and face penalties. The FTC said that when thousands of people clicked through those messages, though, all they saw were pages with advertisements for products and services, including insurance.

If you get an unsolicited commercial email message, treat it with caution: Don't click on links or open attachments in any email unless you know who sent it and what it is. Scammers try to trick people into clicking on links that download malicious programs and can put your personal information at risk. Forward spam to the FTC at, take the Spam Scam Slam Challenge to test your knowledge, and for complete information about the Affordable Care Act, make sure to visit