BBB phishing scam surfaces once again

Published: May. 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2012 at 7:38 AM CDT
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The Better Business Bureau says this is the fifth wave of phishing scams that use their logo...
The Better Business Bureau says this is the fifth wave of phishing scams that use their logo since Thanksgiving.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Better Business Bureau is warning business owners to watch out for emails that claim new complaints have been filed against them.

The BBB says it's a phishing scam.

A small plumbing company in Monroe, LA got an email from the BBB saying they'd had a complaint filed against them.

The company took it seriously but the email was a fake.

It downloaded viruses on two of the small business's computers, which had to be wiped clean in order to get rid of the malware infection.

Fortunately for the plumbing company, the virus hadn't had a chance to steal any banking information.

The BBB says small businesses and consumers across the country are falling victim to this scam, which exploits the bureau's trusted name.

The campaign that started this week is the second biggest phishing scam in the country, according to the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Spam Data Mine, one of the nation's foremost computer forensics labs.

SDM is assisting the Council of Better Business Bureaus in tracking phishing scams that use the BBB name.

Since Thanksgiving, this is the fifth wave of phishing scams that use the BBB's name and logo. The latest round includes a ZIP attachment, but that has not always been the case.

The attachment contains malware that is designed to infect the computer and look for information such as bank account numbers and passwords in order to steal money from the recipients' accounts.

If you receive an email about a BBB complaint, the bureau suggests you 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 specific name).

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

5.   Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your "trash can" or "recycling bin," as well).

6.   Run anti-virus software updates frequently and scan your entire system.

7.   If you are not certain whether the complaint is legitimate, contact your local BBB

The BBB also recommends that all businesses take steps to secure their data and the information they've collected on their customers. BBB's "Data Security - Made Simpler" is available free-of-charge on its web site.

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