Urgent Scam Alert: Beware of Fake Complaint E-mail Claiming to be from Better Business Bureau

January 30, 2013

Chicago, IL-October 24, 2012 - The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) warns businesses to beware of a malicious e-mail claiming to be from the BBB about a complaint filed against a company. The BBB does not send complaints out as attachments.

The phishing email is sent from multiple e-mail addresses and has in its subject line a nine digit complaint number. BBB Accredited and non-Accredited Businesses have been targeted and some consumers have also received the e-mail.

The body of the e-mail states the company has received a complaint and asks the company to respond by directing the e-mail recipient to "BBB Complaint Dep" <complaintdep@chicago.bbb.org>; this e-mail address is not affiliated with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB advises any business that receives this e-mail to take the following steps:

  • Do not click on any links or reply to the message,
  • Completely delete the message from your inbox,
  • Run a full virus scan immediately on your computer if you did click on any links.

If you receive an e-mail from the BBB about a complaint filed against your business and need assistance in determining whether or not it is legitimate, contact the BBB serving Chicago and northern Illinois at (312)832-0500 or bbbinfo@chicago.bbb.org  

Phishing e-mails are a common way for hackers to get at your personal information or break into your computer.

“Don’t click on any links or open any attachments to e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious. E-mail addresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes are common red flags of a malicious phishing e-mail,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Also beware of unsolicited e-mails from companies with which you have no association. Make sure you have current antivirus software and all security patches have been installed on the computer.”

For more information on phishing and how to keep your computer safe, visit www.bbb.org

Below is an example of this phishing e-mail; do not click on the links or reply to the sender.


----- Original Message -----

October 22, 2012


The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you. The details of the consumer's concern are included on the reverse. Please review this matter and advise us of your position.

As a neutral third party, the Better Business Bureau can help to resolve the matter. Often complaints are a result of misunderstandings a company wants to know about and correct.

In the interest of time and good customer relations, please provide the BBB with written verification of your position in this matter by October 25, 2012. Your prompt response will allow BBB to be of service to you and your customer in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. Please inform us if you have contacted your customer directly and already resolved this matter.

The Better Business Bureau develops and maintains Reliability Reports on companies across the United States and Canada . This information is available to the public and is frequently used by potential customers. Your cooperation in responding to this complaint becomes a permanent part of your file with the Better Business Bureau. Failure to promptly give attention to this matter may be reflected in the report we give to consumers about your company.

We encourage you to print this complaint, answer the questions and respond to us. (self-extracting archive, Adobe PDF)

If you are unable to respond using the internet, then please respond in writing to the address above or by Fax at (312) 832-9985.

We look forward to your prompt attention to this matter.


BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois

330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 3120

Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 832-0500  


As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.