November 23, 2011 – Washington, DC. The BBB is warning the business community to beware of an ongoing malicious e-mail that pretends to be from the BBB about a complaint filed against the company.
Businesses from across the United States have reported receiving suspicious e-mails from a variety of email address, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “Complaint #” followed by an eight to nine-digit number. The emails appear to come from the BBB national office, the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, VA.
The body of the e-mail states: “The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you. Please review this matter and advise us of your position. As a neutral third party, the Better Business Bureau can help to resolve the matter. Often complaints are a result of misunderstandings a company wants to know about and correct.” The email also encourages the recipient to click on a link provided in the email to respond to the complaint. Variations of the email have numerous grammatical errors.
Because the message is fraudulent, the BBB advises any business that receives this e-mail to take the following steps:
- Do not click on any links or reply to the message
- Forward the message to email@example.com
- Completely delete the message from your inbox
- Run a virus scan on your computer if you did click on any links.
Complaints that the Washington DC & Eastern PA BBB email come from only one address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These types of phishing attacks are not uncommon. The FTC, IRS and UPS have also been subject to similar attacks.