When a small plumbing company in Monroe, Louisiana, got an email yesterday from BBB saying they’d had a complaint filed against them, they took it seriously. After all, the company is a BBB Accredited Business and the owner serves on the board of directors of BBB of Northeast Louisiana. What they got, however, was much worse than a complaint from an unhappy customer. The email was a fake, a phishing scam that downloaded viruses on two of the small business’s computers, which had to be wiped clean in order to get rid of the malware infection. Fortunately for the plumbing company, the virus hadn’t had a chance to steal any banking information.
Unfortunately, small businesses and consumers across the country are falling victim to the latest phishing scam that exploits BBB’s trusted name. The campaign that started yesterday was the second biggest phishing scam in the country on Wednesday, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Spam Data Mine, one of the nation’s foremost computer forensics labs. SDM is assisting the Council of Better Business Bureaus in tracking phishing scams that use the BBB name.
The phishing emails – the fifth wave since Thanksgiving that uses the BBB’s name – uses BBB’s name and logo in an attempt to look like a notice of a newly filed complaint. The latest round includes a ZIP attachment, but that has not always been the case. Whether by an attachment or a link, the phishing emails attempt to trick the recipient into clicking and opening the “complaint,” which downloads malware onto their computer. The malware is designed to infect the computer and look for information such as bank account numbers and passwords in order to steal money from the recipients’ accounts.
If you receive an email that looks like it is about a BBB complaint:
BBB also recommends that all businesses take steps to secure their data and the information they’ve collected on their customers. BBB’s “Data Security – Made Simpler” is available free-of-charge at www.bbb.org/data-security.