Scammers Posing as BBB Target Local Businesses

July 16, 2013

DENVER – The Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder is warning of recent scams that use its trusted name to lure victims. The BBB says it has received an increase in reports lately from business owners who say they’ve received phone calls and emails posing as the BBB asking for financial information or responses to BBB complaints.

“Because of the concerning rise in scams using the BBB name, we urge consumers and businesses to contact us directly to verify any requests being made from the BBB,” said Su Hawk, president and CEO for the BBB of Denver/Boulder. “We do not call or email asking for financial information or encourage clicking on a link or opening an attachment without clearly identifying ourselves,” she added. “Please always verify information and be wary especially of links or attachments.”

One BBB Accredited business owner contacted the BBB recently to verify a call he received from someone posing as a BBB employee who asked for his credit card number. The caller implied the credit card number was required for the business owner to keep his advertising current. The BBB verified that no such call was made from any BBB office.

Many business owners, some BBB Accredited and some not, have reported receiving emails from companies posing as the BBB notifying them of a complaint received against their company that prompts a link or attachment to access the complaint and respond to it. Usually these emails appear to come from a company posing as a BBB in an area the business is not located. These are especially concerning because the BBB has verified these mass waves of emails contain malicious viruses. The BBB encourages all recipients to not click on anything and forward the email to so that the BBB can locate the sources of these malicious emails.

The BBB also warns consumers about Jamaican sweepstakes scams that also pose as a program from the BBB. A man from Centennial recently notified the BBB he received several calls from “Winners International.” According to the consumer, the “pushy scammers with heavy foreign accents” told him he’d won $500,000 for paying his bills on time and that the check would be delivered to him by the BBB.

Sweepstakes scams like this ask consumers for an upfront payment to be made via wire transfer in order to receive the prize money. Victims are often instructed to use money from a check they receive but the check ends up being counterfeit. Not only is the victim out the money they wired, they owe the funds of the counterfeit check to their bank.

The BBB advises anyone who receives suspicious calls, emails or letters to immediately contact the BBB at or 303-758-2100. “We want the consumers in our Denver/Boulder area to always feel comfortable in verifying any information they get from us, and to be very wary of concerning increases of consumer and business scams,” added Hawk.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 113 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.