Warning to Area Businesses about Fake Award

September 09, 2013

Areabusinesses are being contacted by a fake award and the only qualification ispaying for it. There is no doubt that businesses like to win awards, especiallyif the award recognizes them for providing an excellent service or product,however the Better Business Bureau haswarned businesses previously about vanityawards and “Who’s - who” type publications.

Recently,the BBB was contacted by several local businesses and learned that a companywith apparent ties to US Commerce Association was selling "2013 WichitaFalls Award". The company is selling similar awards in other cities. BBBhas also confirmed with the City of Wichita Falls and several otherorganizations in our area that there is no such award. The email communication claimsto be from the Wichita Falls Award Program and has the subject '2013 WichitaFalls Award'. The email states your business has won an award and you can usethe supplied digital logo and press release. You can also purchase a physicaldisplay of your award. The message states you were chosen because your businessis the best. This is nothing more than a vanity pitch to take your money.

Vanitypitches often target executives, writers, poets and students. Those who areflattered into providing details of their career or accomplishments may bestuck with a subscription fee, a membership fee, a charge for listing, aninflated price for buying the publication or a solicitation to purchase one ormore copies of the publication/award.

Thereis no guarantee that the advertised publication will be distributed beyondthose persons purchasing copies for themselves or even that it will bepublished at all. The appeal may be based strictly on personal vanity.

TheBBB also has some tips for companies to consider if they are approached aboutwinning an award they didn't apply for:

·        Learneverything you can about who is giving the award. If it is coming from amystery company, chances are they simply want your money. 

·        Ifyou didn’t apply for an award or the group cannot tell you how you werenominated, chances are the award is not legitimate.

·        Mostlegitimate awards do not come with costs for the recipient.  If there is acost, scrutinize it even more closely.

·        Askspecific questions about how your company or organization was chosen for anaward and find out how many similar awards are given each year.

·        Check BBB Business Reviews bygoing to www.bbb.org or bycalling 940-691-1172.

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