Better Business Bureau name is appearing in phishing e-mails sent to businesses

by Rick Griffin

The San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning businesses about phony e-mails intended to fool people into thinking the BBB is sending them an e-mail concerning a consumer complaint against their business. The e-mails contain the BBB’s name and brand logo and redirects the user to a website infected with malware software intended to damage or disable computers and networks. The BBB said the e-mails are a scam because it does not send complaints to businesses as e-mail attachments.

The BBB said it believes the fraudulent e-mails are part of a nationwide phishing scam designed to extract financial data from computer networks for the purpose of identity theft, including stealing sensitive financial information from businesses that use online banking accounts. Copycat spammers also are reportedly sending multiple copies of the same spoofing e-mail containing links to the malware or a virus. Some victims with infected computers after clicking the link have lost money transferred out of their bank accounts, the BBB said.

The BBB recommends examining all e-mails that come from a BBB address and follow-up with a phone call to the BBB office to verify any consumer complaints. Also, delete unsolicited e-mails, do not open links or attachments appearing in unsolicited e-mails and update anti-virus software on a regular basis. With questionable e-mails, computer users sometimes can identify the sender by hovering their cursor over the link and checking the web address that pops up.