[August 2, 2012 – Nashville, TN] A new scam using the BBB name popped up again, and has been received by consumers and businesses across the U.S. and Canada…including many BBB offices!
How the Scam Works:
Two versions of the email have been received. One claims to be following up on a complaint filed with BBB, the other is asking for updated contact information “as a service to BBB Accredited Businesses.”
Both are good fakes – they use correct grammar and follow formats often used by BBB, so they look quite realistic. Both refer the recipient to an online form, and the address appears to be that of a local BBB. However, if you hover your mouse over the web address (the part that begins with http), you can see that the real address is not BBB at all. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK! The link actually takes you to a rogue website that downloads a Trojan virus on your computer.
BBB is working with a professional deactivation service to take down the websites that are spreading the malware, and we have reported the incident to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Consumers are urged to delete suspicious emails and keep their anti-virus software up-to-date at all times.
Example of the Phishing Email:
Check out a screen shot of a sample phishing email. The text is below:
Thank you for supporting your Better Business Bureau (BBB).
As a service to BBB Accredited Businesses, we try to ensure that the information we provide to potential customers is as accurate as possible. In order for us to provide the correct information to the public, we ask that you review the information that we have on file for your company.
We encourage you to use our ONLINE FORM to provide us with this updated information. The URL below will take you directly to this form on our website:
(UserID: 882600422 Password: mcvn34JDF3r54f)
You may also complete the form on the reverse side of this letter and mail to PO Box 1000; DuPont, WA; 98327; or fax to (206)436-5496.
Please look carefully at your telephone and fax numbers on this sheet, and let us know any and all numbers used for your business (including 800, 900, rollover, and remote call forwarding). Our automated system is driven by telephone/fax numbers, so having accurate information is critical for consumers to find information about your business easily.
Thank you again for your support, and we look forward to receiving this updated information.
If you receive an email that looks like it is about a BBB complaint or is requesting information about your business:
Do NOT click on any links or attachments until you are positive it’s from BBB.
Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammar, generic greetings such as “Dear member” instead of a name, etc.).
Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as “Click on the link or your account will be closed.”
Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is truly from bbb.org.
Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your “trash can” or “recycling bin,” as well).
Run anti-virus software updates frequently and do a full system scan.
If you are not certain whether the email is legitimate, contact your local BBB (www.bbb.org/find).
Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that our security team can track the perpetrators. If you receive a “bounce” message, there is no need to resubmit.
BBB also recommends that all businesses take steps to secure their data and the information they’ve collected on their customers. BBB’s “Data Security – Made Simpler” is available free-of-charge at
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When in Doubt, remember to check with BBB for information on
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The BBB of Middle Tennessee, Inc. was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Serving as the 'ethical gatepost' of our communities, BBB fosters and promotes ethical business practices and self-regulation standards that build consumer trust in the marketplace. BBB services include business reliability information, complaint resolution services and consumer and business educational information.
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