A New Twist in BBB Phishing Scams

January 26, 2012

Pittsburgh, PA – January 26, 2012 - Your Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new twist in the ongoing BBB phishing scams. Consumers are now reporting receiving phone calls – in addition to emails – from scammers claiming to be from the BBB.

In this latest scam, callers offer assistance in removing a virus from the recipient’s computer. They claim that the computer was infected when the owner downloaded a virus from an email scam using the BBB name. The victims are then tricked into downloading fraudulent antivirus software online that actually contains viruses. Once downloaded, the scammers will attempt to steal sensitive personal information from the computer. Consumers reported scammers calling from the phone number, 858-102-3252.

Since late November, many consumers and business owners nationwide have received phishing emails appearing to be from a BBB.org email address. These emails inform the recipient of a non-existent BBB complaint against their business and encourage them to respond. In a newer take on the scam, emails urge the recipient to update their information with BBB by completing an online form. All emails either contain an attachment or a link to a third-party website, both of which download a virus on to the recipient’s computer.

Should you receive a suspicious email, don't click on any links. You can test the links by using your mouse to hover over them. The destination of the links will appear in a small pop-up box next to the link or at the bottom of the screen.

BBB is also now cautioning consumers not to give out any personal information to callers or to install or download any software they may recommend:

  • BBB will never call businesses or consumers and offer tech support over the phone
  • If your computer was infected by a virus from the BBB email phishing scam use your computers existing antivirus to scan your computer, and if that doesn’t work take your computer to a specialist.

If you have any questions involving the latest round of BBB phishing scams, contact your BBB at 877-267-5222 or email phishing@council.bbb.org to report a scam.


About the BBB System

BBB is an unbiased 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. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 128 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.