BBB serving Mainland BC has been made aware of a scam targeting local building and renovation contractors. The perpetrator connects with a local business claiming to have purchased a home in the area that is in need of renovation. All correspondence is via email and the scammer claims they can't be there because they have been injured in another undisclosed city. Their plan is to move into the home once they get out of hospital and they want the renovations to be complete when they get there. They make further promises that another person will provide keys to the property.Local contractor Wilson Lin of W. Lin Construct and Design was contacted for work and didn't think much of it until the story started to unravel."At first it seemed legit after receiving several emails," says Lin. "The person sent me the address so I contacted the real estate agent who had allegedly sold the house to get things going. Turns out they hadn't even had an offer yet much less a sale. The scammer even claimed he found me through the Better Business Bureau."As of publishing this warning the home in question is still listed for sale on Realtor.ca."It's hard to say how this scam was intended to operate," says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. "It's likely an overpayment scam where the perp sends too much money claiming it was a mistake, then asks the vendor to deposit a cheque and send a bunch of money back. The cheque bounces and the contractor is left holding the bag. We just want local businesses to be aware this is on our radar."Fortunately, Lin didn't continue communicating with the scammer and didn't lose any money. BBB recently released a study on scams targeting small businesses. Working alongside the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S., BBB has identified the Top 5 Riskiest Scams small businesses face every day. Protect Your Business:*\tEnsure all your staff understands how overpayment scams work. Whether the fraudster is using fake cheques or credit cards and requesting wire transfers or electronic transfers, the scam still works the same.*\tNever accept an overpayment for a product or service.*\tEnsure you have systems in place to make sure fees, deposits and payments have legitimately cleared through your financial institution before purchasing products or providing refunds etc. Speak to your financial institutions about the best practices for protecting your business from overpayment fraud, and fake payments.*\tDon't fall victim to sad or dramatic stories, with high-pressure circumstances, under which you must act urgently.*\tBe wary of poor grammar combined with a very English sounding name.