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Better Business Bureau Email Scam

Better Business Bureau Email Scam
Pat Dickson - Tue Jul 23, 2013 @ 12:59PM
Comments: 0

The other morning I received an email from the Better Business Bureau, and my entire day was ruined!

A formal complaint (allegedly attached) had been filed against me with the "BBB Serving Metropolitan New York, Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Region." I was required to respond by June 30, 2013, regarding "one of your customers... ...dealings with you."

How could one of my customers be so upset with me as to file a complaint against me with the BBB?

I take pride in always making sure everyone buying my time and expertise is happy with the legal and business management service I provide. In fact, I won't even charge a client if he isn't happy with my work or results.

I immediately looked for the referenced, attached complaint, and it was not attached. I wanted to open it and reply immediately! I did not even pause or think for a second before hitting reply and requesting the sender immediately provide the missing attachment.

What in the world could I have done wrong?

Hours passed, I sweat and suffered, wondered where I could have gone wrong. What had I done to merit a customer's wrath? Still there was no reply. So, I searched for the phone number of the Better Business Bureau agency that was handling the complaint from New York.

Quickly I discovered this email was a scam!

It was not really from the BBB, even though it sure looked like the sender was using a valid email address. I've been a lawyer for 20 years and boy had this fictitious letter looked like the real thing to me!

I also felt quite silly when I discovered the BBB had even posted a warning about this very scam.

"Don't open any attachments," it said.

Boy was I lucky! I would have opened any attachment without thinking. As I already said, this BBB phony scam of a complaint notice really looked like the real thing! 

At least there was an upside. No customer of mine was unhappy with my services!

The takeaway of this lesson is to always question emails we receive which claim we are in trouble. Usually, if you have done something wrong or made a customer angry, you will first receive notice on the phone, in person, or via regular mail. Not always, but usually.

So, it is a good practice to always make phone contact with the claimant party before fretting over any emails asserting that you are in trouble.

You might be dealing with a scam!

For your entertainment, here is a the full text of the email I received:



Better Business Bureau <Hollis_Potter@newyork.bbb.org> Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM
To: pat@patdickson.com

The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you. The details of the consumer's concern are included on the reverse. Please review this matter and advise us of your position.

As a neutral third party, the Better Business Bureau can help to resolve the matter. Often complaints are a result of misunderstandings a company wants to know about and correct.

In the interest of time and good customer relations, please provide the BBB with written verification of your position in this matter by June 30, 2013. Your prompt response will allow BBB to be of service to you and your customer in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. Please inform us if you have contacted your customer directly and already resolved this matter.

The Better Business Bureau develops and maintains Reliability Reports on companies across the United States and Canada . This information is available to the public and is frequently used by potential customers. Your cooperation in responding to this complaint becomes a permanent part of your file with the Better Business Bureau. Failure to promptly give attention to this matter may be reflected in the report we give to consumers about your company.

We encourage you to print this complaint (attached file), answer the questions and respond to us.

We look forward to your prompt attention to this matter.


BBB Serving Metropolitan New York, Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Region


Tags: Email Scam, BBB
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