RICHMOND — At least one Madison County business has fallen victim to a recent e-mail scam catching the attention of the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB of Central and Eastern Kentucky issued a warning Monday urging businesses and consumers to be on the lookout from an e-mail that appears to be from bbb.org. Some of the e-mails contain attachments that could cause a computer virus, according to Heather Clary, spokesperson for the BBB of Central and Eastern Kentucky.
“Phone calls and e-mails to our BBB … indicate that many business owners are returning from a long holiday weekend to find this e-mail in their inboxes,” Clary stated Monday.
The e-mail claims to be about a recently filed complaint against the business or person who received the e-mail, Clary said.
“The e-mail contains a hazardous attachment regarding a complaint and appears to direct recipients to the BBB website,” Clary said. “This is a scam. The BBB does not send complaints as attachments via e-mail. We always warn against opening an attachment on any unsolicited or unexpected e-mail until you can at least verify who it is from. That is a classic technique used by scammers to unleash a virus on your computer, which can do all kinds of nasty things.”
The e-mails appear to come from a fake employee of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, Va., claiming the recipient needs to review the matter and advise the BBB of their position.
From there, the e-mail appears to direct recipients to the BBB website (www.bbb.org), but actually directs them to an outside link.
“I have tried to click on the link in several of the e-mails businesses have sent us, and was unable to be connected to anything, which could be because of our virus protection,” Clary said. “Others have indicated the same thing, their virus protection kept them from going to whatever it was. So that’s very telling right there.”
Some have reported to the BBB that the link took them to a strange website that may have originated in Russia.
“They did not elaborate,” Clary said, referring to those who fell victim by opening the link on the e-mail. “Who knows what a person’s computer might be exposed to by visiting a foreign website? You never know. I suppose it is possible a problem could occur later.”
Clary suggests a person hover their computer mouse over website links embedded in e-mails.
“In the case of the bbb.org link in several of these (e-mails), the box that pops up by the cursor lists something else,” she said.
Any business owner who is unsure whether or not an e-mail is genuinely from the BBB may call the BBB at 1-859-259-1008 or 1-800-866-6668 to confirm it.
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