If you or your business received an email this week claiming to be from the Better Business Bureau saying you violated a federal act, do not click anything!
Better Business Bureau is warning business owners and consumers that scammers are using the BBB name and logo to fraudulently claim companies are “violating the Fair Labor Standards Act,” the “Safety and Health Act,” and other ominous sounding notices.
These emails are fake. They are designed to get the recipient to click on a link, which may be used to download malware that can infect the recipient’s computer, steal passwords, or hack a company’s records. Phishing emails take all forms, and scammers regularly try to impersonate real businesses and organizations. In this case, scammers seem to be targeting a wide range of business owners, many of whom have called to tell us about this scheme.
If you get an email that claims it is from BBB, there are a number of things you should look for. Is the return address a real, BBB.org email address? Does the email look like regular correspondence from BBB, or is it out of the blue?
If you are ever unsure if an email is legitimate or a phishing scheme, follow these steps from BBB:
• Do not click on any links or attachments.
• Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammatical errors, generic greetings such as “dear member” instead of a name, etc.).
• Be wary of urgent instructions to take specified action such as “click on the link or your account will be closed.”
• 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.
• Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your “recycle bin or trash” as well).
• Run anti-virus software updates frequently and do a full system scan.
• Keep a close eye on your bank statements for any unexpected or unexplained transactions.
• If you have clicked on any of the links within the email, immediately change your email and network passwords and notify your local IT provider for next steps and actions.
If the email is purporting to be from BBB, send a copy of the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind this address is only for scams that use the BBB name or logo. Report other phishing emails to bbb.org/ScamTracker.
Emily Valla, email@example.com, is the Idaho marketplace director for the Better Business Bureau Northwest. To check a business or report a scam, go to www.bbb.org or call 208-342-4649.