BBB Fake Emails Continue to Pile Up

  
     
February 24, 2012

Businesses and consumers across North America have been hit by an on-going email scam that appears to be from the Better Business Bureau. The fake emails started in November, and have changed forms a number of times. Most of them include a virus – if the recipient clicks on a link.

BBB of Western Ontario was alerted about the latest version, which accused the business of illegal activities:

From: Better Business Bureau

Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 7:08 AM

To: ___________

Subject: Your business is accused of illegal activities.

Valued business proprietor, we have obtained several complaints about your company alleged involvement in identity theft. You are asked to provide your official response to this complaint within 28 days. Failure to provide the corresponding response will result in cancellation your Better Business Bureau rating and possible withdrawal of your BBB accreditation status.

Complaint ID #4248764

Council of Better Business Bureaus

3033 Wilson Blvd, Suite 600

Arlington, VA 22201

Phone: 1 (703) 276.0100

Fax: 1 (703) 525.8277

In another round of BBB phishing email scams last week, the scammers targeted accountants.

This scam uses a BBB.org email address in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs logo and name. The message informs recipients that their CPA license is being terminated due to tax fraud allegations and encourages them to click on a link and reply to the charges. The link leads to a third party website that downloads a virus on to the recipient’s computer. This email scam primarily targets accountants, but BBB has gotten reports of other professionals receiving the emails.

Another wave of BBB phishing emails contain a subject line reading "BBB SBQ Form," followed by a series of numbers. Recipients are asked to click on a link to update their information with Better Business Bureau. The link supposedly leads to a form on BBB.org, but it really goes to a third party website that downloads a virus on your computer.

In addition to the latest wave of emails, the original version of the email scam is still out there. In this, recipients are told that a complaint has been filed against their business, and they need to respond by clicking on a link in the email. Again, the link takes them to a third-party website that infects their computer with a virus.

Steps to take:

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. If the email is a scam, the website shown will not be a BBB.org URL.

After you have identified a scam, please forward the email to phishing@council.bbb.org and delete it from your inbox. Also, make sure your virus software is up to date. For more information, contact the BBB at 519-673-3222 or go to www.bbb.org.