FAKE Emails Posing as Better Business Bureau

August 07, 2017


MilwaukBBB Phishing Emailee, Wis. – Scammers are sending mass emails today to businesses claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). These bogus emails are not coming from the BBB and are part of a widespread phishing attack. Please be assured BBB is working with law enforcement as well as a private deactivation firm to shut down as many criminal websites as possible. To date, we have shut down well over 100 sites.

The email claims that the business is in violation of either the Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act or has a BBB complaint. Furthermore, it provides a link and asks the recipient to download a document for more information. Do not follow these instructions, as it may download malware onto your computer.

For today and future instances, if your business or your customers receive an email that looks like it is a BBB complaint notification, you should do the following:

  1. Do NOT click on any links or attachments.
  2. Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammar, generic greetings such as “Dear member” instead of a name, BBB internal department names that do not seem familiar, etc.).
  3. Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as “Click on the link or your account will be closed.”
  4. Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is truly from bbb.org. The URL in the text should match the URL that your mouse detects. If the two do not match, it is most likely a scam.
  5. Send a copy of the email to phishing@council.bbb.org (Note: This address is only for scams that use the BBB name or logo)
  6. Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your “trash can” or “recycling bin,” as well).
  7. Run anti-virus software updates frequently and do a full system scan.
  8. Keep a close eye on your bank statements for any unexpected or unexplained transactions.


BBB has received hundreds of inquiries this morning from businesses about the bogus emails. If your business received an email claiming to be from the BBB and you want to verify its authenticity, you can call the BBB Serving Wisconsin at 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).