Did the Better Business Bureau (BBB) get a complaint about your company?
Ouch. Someone complained about your business to the BBB?
Well, even if you got an email that looks as if it came from the Better Business Bureau, maybe not. Phishing scam emails using the BBB’s name are rampant. We catch dozens in our spam filter every week.
Some are downright hilarious. I particularly like the ones that tell you “details of the consumer’s concern are included on the reverse,” (of an email?) but it’s also charming when the scam BBB “graciously” asks you to “view your customer’s anxiety.” Hopefully, though, you’re not going to actually click on that link or open that attachment.
Still, we have received a few scam BBB emails that gave us pause—well written and using BBB language. Here are a few tip-offs to scam attempts, but beware, fake BBB emails are ever-evolving.
- The email didn’t come from your local BBB branch.
- The name of the customer filing the complaint isn’t listed, or you don’t recognize it.
- The email is full of dodgy grammar or flowery, overly-friendly wording.
- It has an attachment: the BBB says it doesn’t use them.
- If you mouse over what looks like a legitimate BBB company email address, you might also see the real return email address underneath.
- Many BBB franchises may also mail a letter—check your mailbox. However, they don’t always have valid mailing addresses for businesses.
- Your best bet: forward the email to the BBB’s phishing department and contact your local BBB to see if there’s a real grievance. Most BBB franchises will correct your contact information if necessary.
But scammers don’t only love imitating the Better Business Bureau and other businesses; you might even get something “from” government agencies like the FTC or IRS. Here are a few recent ploys:
“ADP” tells you that your account has been rejected (our favorite email thanks us for choosing ADP as our “business butty”).
The “US Postal Service” says you have a delivery, or bought stamps.
“PayPal” has your money ready.
“LinkedIn” has a connection request for you…even though you don’t have a LinkedIn account.
“Amazon” is happy about your order and has just shipped it.
“Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service (FMS)” just knows you have an ‘outstanding financial obligation’ and you’d better pay up.
“Facebook” tells you that you’ve deactivated your account, but if you’d just like to click on this handy link…
If you think an email COULD be legitimate but you’re also worried that it’s a scam, just log into your account on the company’s website (don’t use a link; go there from your browser) to check.
You can accept LinkedIn requests directly from your account rather than clicking on an email. Amazon has a great ‘my orders’ page to check, and you can sign up to get text alerts when real orders are shipped. Etcetera, etcetera. Emailing customer service for verification of orders is also a good option. CS reps can tell you about options for identifying fraudulent emails and how to forward them to phishing watchdogs.
Meanwhile, we graciously request you to oversee your customer’s uneasiness.
Need to dispute a bad BBB rating? PeopleClaim can help. Click Here.