An e-mailed "complaint" supposedly originating from Better Business Bureau is being sent to BBB Accredited Businesses and non-accredited companies in Maryland and other states across the country.
Businesses of all sizes and industries have received the bogus e-mail complaint, ranging from banks and construction companies to major manufacturers and professionals. There is no indication how the e-mail addresses were collected.
The e-mail sender's address is email@example.com with the subject line "BBB Complaint Case #" followed by a nine-digit number. It's important to know that the sender's address may change as awareness of the scam increases. A sample e-mail can be found at: BBB Fake Email Complaint
The body of the e-mail claims that the recipient did not respond to a complaint filed by Jason Harlow (however, other names may be used) under the category "Contract Issues." The goal of the e-mail is to get the recipient to click on a hyperlink with the following text: "Please click here to access the complaint."
A link in identical e-mails sent out earlier this year downloaded malware to the recipients' computers. Malware consists of programs designed to damage or initiate unwanted actions without the knowledge of the user. This may include harvesting logins and passwords and forwarding them to the e-mail's author.
BBB advises businesses that receive this e-mail to take the following precautions:
- Run a full virus scan on your computer, if you did click the link
- Do not on any links or reply to the message
- Forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delete the message from your inbox and recycle bin
If you receive any e-mail from Better Business Bureau about a complaint filed against your company and need assistance in determining whether or not it is legitimate, contact the BBB directly at www.bbb.org.
For more advice on how to protect your business from malicious online attacks and data breaches visit http://www.bbb.org/data-security/.