“Documents for case” phishing scam

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued an alert on their website warning businesses and consumers across the United States and Canada of a phishing scam that uses the BBB name and a false BBB email address in attempt to make the email recipients click on potentially damaging hyperlinks.

A Kennesaw GA business was hacked and is now sending thousands of counterfeit messages to businesses and consumers, purporting to be a complaint filed with the BBB. The incident was reported to the BBB that serves Columbus GA and the surrounding area.

The phony email appears to come from operations@bbb.org and contains a link citing a BBB complaint case number (such as documents for case #263621205…see the letter below).

Clicking on the link directs access to a subdirectory of the hacked website and asks users to download documents related to the complaint. The download is actually an executable file suspected to be some form of a computer virus.

Recipients of the phony email are being advised that any email from the operations@bbb.org address does not come from the BBB and should be considered counterfeit. The BBB is strongly encouraging recipients of this message to delete the message immediately. DO NOT click on the “documents for case” links.

The email return address in the phishing email (operations@bbb.org) does not exist. It’s being spoofed. For more information about phishing and tips to avert other scams, visit the Better Business Bureau.

An example of the false email message posted on the BBB site is provided below. Names and other forms of identifying information were removed from the example.

REPRESENTATIVE E-MAIL SAMPLE

From: operations@bbb.org [mailto:operations@bbb.org]
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 6:06 AM
To: XXXX
Subject: BBB Case #263621205 – Complaint for XXXX

Dear Mr./Mrs. XXXX

You have received a complaint in regards to your business services.
The complaint was filled by Mr. XXXX on 02/05/2007/
Use the link below to view the complaint details:

DOCUMENTS FOR CASE #263621205

Complaint Case Number: 263621205
Complaint Made by Consumer Mr. XXXX
Complaint Registered Against: Company XXXX
Date: 02/05/2007

Instructions on how to resolve this complaint as well as a copy of the original complaint can be obtained using the link below:

DOCUMENTS FOR CASE #263621205

Disputes involving consumer products and/or services may be arbitrated. Unless they directly relate to the contract that is the basis of this dispute, the following claims will be considered for arbitration only if all parties agree in writing that the arbitrator may consider them:

  • Claims based on product liability;
  • Claims for personal injuries;
  • Claims that have been resolved by a previous court action, arbitration, or written agreement between the parties.

The decision as to whether your dispute or any part of it can be arbitrated rests solely with the BBB.

The BBB offers its members a binding arbitration service for disputes involving marketplace transactions. Arbitration is a convenient, civilized way to settle disputes quickly and fairly, without the costs associated with other legal options.

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