Mar 29, 2012 11:31 AM by Cecilia Stevenson
As of this morning, their have been numerous calls to the BBB concerning local businesses receiving 20 to 50 emails which state, "...the BBB has received several complaints concerning unauthorized transactions from private bank accounts to a corporate account." This is an attempt at identity theft and is a crime.
The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is warning local business owners and managers of an on-going scam email phishing scam, where fake emails appearing to be from the BBB install viruses that steal personal and business information.These emails are generated wholly outside the BBB system by criminals who pose as legitimate organizations that consumers and businesses trust. The Council of Better Business Bureaus has reported the phishing scam to IC3, a government entity which is a partnership between the FBI, FTC and National White Collar Crime Center and is working diligently to have the scam stopped.
Like many large retail organization, financial institutions and government agencies, BBB's visibility and reputation for trust makes us an ideal vehicle for scammers. Consider that bbb.org receives over six million visits every month; this makes us an attractive decoy for fraud and malicious activity. Other trustworthy businesses having suffered similar scams include WalMart and Wells Fargo Bank.
The email read as if they are being sent from the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) in Arlington, VA and the emails include false links, complaint numbers and passwords.
The BBB offers the following tips to avoid being taken by this scam:
-Look for typos, grammatical errors, etc. in the text that could indicate it originated overseas.
-Check to see who it says it is from. Complaints go out from the local BBBs, not from the headquarters office. If you "whitelisted" the two addresses above, this may eliminate your problems.
-Hover your mouse over the link to see if its destination is a real "bbb.org" address.
-Copy and paste the link into Notepad (not Word). Notepad does not support html, so if the link is a fake bbb.org address, the real link will show up.
An authentic email from BBB will always:
-Come from your local BBB, not the Council of Better Business Bureaus or a BBB from another state.
-The email will include a secure HTTPS link to the complaint details.
-Complaints are never sent as attachments.
IC3 is shutting down the malware sites that the criminals' lure email links to, but anyone who clicks on the links in these emails should make sure to check for downloaded viruses, as these emails can lay in wait and steal personal and banking data.