This latest scam uses a BBB.org email address in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs logo and name. The message informs recipients that their CPA license is being terminated due to tax fraud allegations and encourages them to click on a link and reply to the charges. The link leads to a third party website that downloads a virus on to the recipient’s computer.
This email scam primarily targets accountants, but BBB has gotten reports of other professionals receiving the emails. The image below is a sample email.
Since late November, many consumers and business owners nationwide have received phishing emails appearing to be from a BBB.org email address. These emails inform the recipient of a non-existent BBB complaint against their business and encourage them to respond. In a newer take on the scam, emails urge the recipient to update their information with BBB by completing an online form. All emails either contain an attachment or a link to a third-party website, both of which download a virus on to the recipient’s computer.
Should you receive a suspicious email, don't click on any links. You can test the links by using your mouse to hover over them. The destination of the links will appear in a small pop-up box next to the link or at the bottom of the screen. See the screenshot below for an example. If the email is a scam, the website shown will not be a BBB.org URL.
below are some samples of the fake emails:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:26 AM
To: Betty Graham
Subject: Complaint # 22101311
The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you.
The details of the consumer's concern are included on the reverse.
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. We encourage you to use our ONLINE COMPLAINT system to respond this complaint.
The following URL (website address) below will take you directly to this complaint and you will be able to enter your response directly on our website: http://www.bbb.org
2nd version : (click to enlarge):
Subj: BBB Case ID 91046090
Here with the Better Busines Bureau informs you that we have received a complaint (ID 91046090) from a customer of yours in regard to their dealership with you.
Please open the COMPLAINT REPORT below to obtain the details on this quetsion and suggest us about your position as soon as possible.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Better Business Bureau
See attached file /DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK!!! - BBB warning /
Council of Better Business Bureaus
4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
Forward the fraudulent emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete it from your computer.
If you have clicked on links, opened attachments or replied to the e-mail, delete the e-mail and run a virus scan.
BBB is working with law enforcement to determine its source and stop the fraudulent campaign. To date 50 websites has been closed.
Consumers also reported receiving phone calls – in addition to emails – from scammers claiming to be from BBB.
In the scam, callers offer help removing a virus from the recipient’s computer. They claim the computer was infected when the owner downloaded a virus from an email scam using the BBB name. Consumers reported scammers calling from 858-102-3252.
BBB is cautioning consumers not to give out any personal information to callers or to install or download any software they recommend.