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

October 24, 2012

Chicago,IL-October 24, 2012 - The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and NorthernIllinois (BBB) warns businesses to beware of a malicious e-mail claiming to befrom the BBB about a complaint filed against a company. The BBB does notsend complaints out as attachments.

Thephishing email is sent from multiple e-mail addresses and has in its subjectline a nine digit complaint number. BBB Accreditedand non-Accredited Businesses have been targeted and some consumers have alsoreceived the e-mail.

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

The BBB advises any business thatreceives 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 filedagainst your business and need assistance in determining whether or not it islegitimate, contact the BBB serving Chicago andnorthern Illinoisat (312)832-0500 or info@chicago.bbb.org 

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

“Don’t click on any links or open any attachmentsto e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious. E-mailaddresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes are common redflags of a malicious phishing e-mail,” said Steve J. Bernas, president &CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicagoand northern Illinois.“Also beware of unsolicited e-mails from companies with which you have noassociation. Make sure you have current antivirus software and all securitypatches have been installed on the computer.”

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

Below is an example of this phishinge-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 fromone of your customers regarding their dealings with you. The details of theconsumer's concern are included on the reverse. Please review this matter andadvise us of your position.

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

In the interest of time and good customer relations, please provide the BBBwith 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 yourcustomer in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. Please inform us if youhave contacted your customer directly and already resolved this matter.

The Better Business Bureau develops and maintains Reliability Reports on companiesacross the United States andCanada. This information is available to the public and is frequently used bypotential customers. Your cooperation in responding to this complaint becomes apermanent part of your file with the Better Business Bureau. Failure topromptly give attention to this matter may be reflected in the report we giveto consumers about your company.

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

If you are unable to respond using the internet, then please respond inwriting 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 aprivate, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau isto promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints bymeans of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertisingclaims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs developand issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encouragepeople to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.