The Latest BBB Phishing Scams
January 20, 2012

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – January 20, 2012 – Another round of phishing email scams utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s name and ‘Start With Trust’ tagline has been flooding inboxes across the nation this week. Emails claiming to be from the Utah BBB regarding complaints with a fraudulent hyperlink that appears to be www.bbb.org are a scam, along with emails requesting companies to complete a Standard Business Questionnaire or online form to provide updated information. Your BBB is advising the public to follow these basic tips to avoid malware and phishing attacks:

  • Do NOT open any attachments.
  • Do NOT click on any links, even if it appears legitimate.
  • Delete the email from your inbox and then delete it again from your trash or recycling folder.
  • Run a full system scan using a reputable virus software scanner.
  • Forward scam emails to phishing@council.bbb.org.

Chris Garver, Chief Information Officer at the Council of Better Business Bureaus, recommends that all domain owners set up a sender policy framework (SPF) and set their spam filter to use it. “Using the SPF standard helps fight spam and phishing attacks by allowing your email servers to verify whether an email is legitimate…or not,” he says.

Microsoft offers a simple, four-step process for setting up an SPF: www.microsoft.com/mscorp/safety/content/technologies/senderid/wizard/

If you receive an email saying your business has a complaint filed against it with BBB, there are several things you can do to authenticate it:

  • Look for typos, grammatical errors, etc. in the text that could indicate it originated overseas.
  • Check to see who it says it is from. Complaints go out from local BBBs, not from the headquarters office.
  • Hover your mouse over the link to see if its destination is really a bbb.org address.
  • Copy and paste the link into Notepad (not Word). Notepad does not support html, so if the link is a fake bbb.org address, the real link will show up.
  • If you still are not certain of an email’s legitimacy, call our BBB toll free at 877-267-5222 to verify the complaint.

Always remember to check with your local BBB if you receive something that seems fishy or raises alarm.

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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.