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BBB-Scam Alerts

BBB-Scam Alerts

Scammers Using Better Business Bureau Name to Collect Dues


News Staff - March 28, 2018

UNDATED - Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa has received reports from BBB Accredited Businesses that have been contacted by scam artists posing as employees of the Better Business Bureau.

“Scammers are falsely using the Better Business Bureau name to try to collect ‘unpaid’ dues from BBB Accredited Businesses," said Jim Hegarty, BBB president and CEO. "We urge people to double-check with their local BBB if they are contacted by phone or email regarding the payment of their dues.”

One BBB Accredited Business in Kansas reported receiving a call from a lady claiming to be with the BBB.  The caller said several letters had been sent to him, quoted his PO Box and wanted to see if he was planning to renew his Accreditation for $399.  He asked the caller if she was in Wichita’s downtown office, and she replied that she was calling from California.  He told her that he goes to the Wichita office to pay, and he wasn’t going to pay over the phone with her.  Unfortunately, the caller’s phone number was blocked, so he had nothing to indicate who was calling or where the call came from.

A similar incident was described on BBB Scam Tracker. It came to the BBB Accredited Business as a fake email: “Hi, Please see below the list of overdue invoices, of which $2,393.95 is due since last month. They provided a link to a payment site that was not from the BBB and could be malicious.

A related scam is targeting Chambers of Commerce. A Wichita businessman has described receiving a call from a man using the name “Bocca Deli” who was posing as an employee of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. Deli requested the names of employees and owners at his company. BBB confirmed that this caller was not associated with the Chamber and was phishing for information about its members.

Other businesses from across the country have also reported that they were contacted by individuals posing as BBB and Chamber employees. Besides trying to extract money from members of these organizations, the scammers also try to get personally identifiable information by claiming that they need to update a company’s contact data, address and payment information. Then they use the information to perpetrate fraud.

"Although your BBB often calls businesses for a variety of reasons, businesses need to be aware that any representatives from the BBB would clearly identify themselves and leave a working phone number,” Hegarty said. "If you receive a call from anyone representing the BBB and are unsure as to their authenticity, we urge you not to disclose any information and to contact your local BBB at 800-649-6814 immediately."



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