BBB Issues Visual Voicemail Scam Warning

September 24, 2012

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – September 24, 2012 – As you check your daily emails, BBB is warning consumers to be wary of a new twist on the phishing scam involving fake “visual voicemail” emails. These emails send notification of the recipient supposedly receiving a new voicemail message. In this new approach to a classic scam, if the attachment is clicked on, he or she will be taken to a scam website.

Emails containing the visual voicemail scam appear to come from Microsoft Outlook on “Behalf of an Anonymous Caller,” but the messages reference a variety of URLs and phone numbers. Of the cases BBB has seen, emails contain an “Email ID” that appears to be from an internal company email address.

“With the advancements in technology and increase in daily computer usage by consumers, scammers continue to grow more sophisticated in their scamming techniques,” says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. Though the classic phishing scam has been around for years, it is likely that we will continue to see new variations of this same scam, so it is important for consumers to remain vigilant.

Your BBB offers the following tips to consumers to help safeguard against internet scammers:

  • Don’t click the attachment. The email attachment appears to be a .wav audio file, but it is really an HTML link that redirects recipients to a malicious website. This destination website may download malware to scan for banking and other sensitive information on a computer.
  • Protect your computer. Regularly run anti-virus software updates on your computer and do a full system scan. If you receive any kind of phishing email, delete it from your computer completely and empty your trash can or recycling bin as well.
  • Check for signs of a fake. Read the email carefully for misspellings and incorrect grammar, as this can be a sign that it originated internationally. Be skeptical of any unsolicited electronic requests, even if it appears to come from a known business or organization.
  • Spot scams first. Visit and read BBB’s tips on identifying and avoiding phishing scams. Check Scam Source to find information about scams targeting businesses and consumers in your area. Through Scam Source, you can report a potential scam in your area, as well as subscribe to BBB’s new scam alerts.


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 BBB Business Reviews and 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, 115 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit for more information about the BBB System.