Emails with Malicious Web Link Claim to Originate from Better Business Bureau System

A malicious new spam email claiming to originate from the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recently hit inboxes across Texas.

The unsolicited email message, which may include the subject line, “Complaint from your customers,” intentionally creates a false appearance of legitimacy because the return email address is riskmanager@bbb.org. The end of the spam message also deceptively includes the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ address, which is intended to confer legitimacy by associating the email with the national office of the Better Business Bureau system. According to the Council, the return email address is not actually used by the BBB. The Council warned that the email message contains a malicious link to a non-BBB website.

Recipients should not respond to the sender or click on any Web links that may appear within the message. Activating Web links that appear in unexpected emails may direct users to fraudulent websites or allow identity thieves to capture users’ sensitive personal information.

Texans can protect their email addresses from spammers by working with their Internet service providers to install free filters, blocks and other junk mail management services. All computer users should also familiarize themselves with a website’s privacy policy before providing their email addresses. Most legitimate vendors allow users to prevent the company from sharing their information with unauthorized third parties.

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Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

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ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.

Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.

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