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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
Alaska, Oregon & Western Washington
Fight Phishing

Phishing scams look like legitimate emails, and they are getting more sophisticated every day. But what these con artists are really after is banking and financial information. And they won’t mind destroying computers to get it.

Once again, scammers are sending emails that appear to come from Better Business Bureau. They say that a complaint has been registered against your business or that a customer has submitted a review of your business. It doesn’t matter that you might not even OWN a business.

The email asks recipients to download and complete attached forms or click on links to view and respond to the consumer postings. Don’t do either!

The “attached forms” are actually executable files that drop nasty viruses onto systems. All of a sudden, pop-up messages claim that computers are infected and offer to clean systems, for a fee. Providing credit card or banking information to have systems cleaned will waste money, and the scammers will then have access to steal even more.

The links in bogus emails are dangerous as well. They look like legitimate links to BBB pages, but the code behind the links actually routes browsers to websites where malware is installed. The malware is written in such a way that it usually passes anti-virus programs undetected. Once the malware is in place, the scammers can sniff for banking information—including user names and passwords—and can use systems to send more scam emails.

The bottom line: If you don’t own a business, you can disregard any BBB email that claims your company has been the subject of a customer communication. If you do own a business, you can always check with your local office to confirm the legitimacy of any email purporting to come from BBB. To find your local office, visit bbb.org/find. Never click on links in an email or download attachments unless and until you confirm its source.

Please forward suspicious BBB emails to phishing@council.bbb.org; don’t worry if you receive a notification that the email could not be delivered because of an attached virus. BBB pulls emails from quarantine and examines them anyway to research phishing threats. Please understand that while BBB would like to reply to each email, it is not always possible for this to happen. If you need personal assistance with an email, contact your local BBB.