Business owners in Traverse City and Cadillac are reporting contact from an alleged award company
Cadillac, MI (July 14, 2017) – Local businesses in the Traverse City/Cadillac area are being contacted through email by a company purportedly offering "awards" that come with a price tag. The email and website explain that in order to receive the award, promotional materials must be purchased. Businesses then either never receive the materials or are not able to return them. If the materials are delivered, they are for the non-existent award.
The so-called vanity award scam is not new and BBB has exposed it in the past, but it has only recently been reported to be affecting Western Michigan business owners.
The websites area business are being referred to range from the "McBain Award Program" to "The Award Program" to "The Best Awards," with URL's that make it appear to be a legitimate award website (i.e. best-awarded, local-awarded, awardedyour). The awards available for purchase also look strikingly similar to those reported by an Ohio business in 2013.
All attempts to contact this business and the owner were unsuccessful as their listed information directed to a series of dead end phone numbers and email addresses. The Kansas office building the business claims as its headquarters has also never heard of this business or its owner.
Companies that have been targeted by these sites are encouraged to report their experience to Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker.
To keep your company from falling prey:
+ Ask who nominated your business for the award if you did not apply for it. If you are provided with an answer, contact the nominator directly to follow up. Businesses that have been nominated for legitimate awards are notified of their nomination or received applications before being selected.
+ Do not pay for the award or any promotional materials associated with it. The majority of business awards do not require payment to receive.
+ Check the company's BBB Business Review at BBB.org to ensure the offer is real. Past fraud operations will have similarities to current ones, and many business owners have already reported on identified scams.