FYI: Scam email masked as complaint from BBB

NEW YORK (AP) ? The organization that helps consumers resolve complaints with businesses was the victim early Wednesday of its second e-mail scam in as many weeks.

The Better Business Bureau sent urgent messages from its Arlington, Va., headquarters and local chapters warning of a “phishing” scam, an email that masquerades as a legitimate message but is a scam.

In this case, the email is designed to resemble a complaint submitted to the agency, but is intended to fool recipients into potentially giving up sensitive information or allowing a virus to infect their computer.


BBB said the email contains the subject line “Complaint from your customers” and may come from the fake email address riskmanager(at)

All BBB email from its headquarters contains “council” in the address, as in name(at); email from its local affiliates includes the chapter name, for instance name(at)

In addition, the scam email contains a link for the recipient to click on. This scam follows a similar email that surfaced in the days before Thanksgiving that contained an attachment, which when opened allowed malware ? short for malicious software ? to install itself on the recipient’s computer.

BBB officials said most of its local chapters use email to contact businesses about complaints from consumers, but always include the information regarding the complaint in the body of an email, without use links or attachments.


BBB said recipients can simply delete the email. Anyone who has already clicked on a link should run a virus scan on their computer.

The email may be reported to the BBB using its scam portal at .

The agency is working with the Secret Service and the FBI to track down the source of the fake email. Complaints may also be filed with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which is operated jointly by the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center, by visiting .