BBB – New Phishing Scam Messing with your Public Relations & Online Reputation Management?

This Utah PR firm has a clean record with the BBB. Long before Facebook, Google+, Angie’s List, Yelp, or a dozen other now prominent consumer rating services, there was the BBB. So, I paid attention the other day when I received a convincing email from what was “purported” to be the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  As a public relations firm offering Online Reputation Management, I know how important it is to manage your company’s “rep” on social media and rating services.

The email said our firm had a problem. Instead of clicking through on the email itself, I went to and called their Utah office. They confirmed our pristine record for a decade of PilmerPR customer satisfaction. They also suggested I forward the bogus “phishing” scam email to their legal department. The following response letter may provide insights on how you can deal with such scams. My company’s system security company, INVISUS, comments frequently on these subtle, nasty phishing attacks.

More information on Online Reputation Management services. CASE STUDY



On the morning of January 8, 2013, a new phishing campaign launched which misuses the BBB name.  This campaign sends emails to consumers and business owners. The emails contain a link which redirects the user to a site which drops malware onto the user’s computer system.  Please see below for further cautionary information.)

Thank you for contacting the Council of Better Business Bureaus.
You may have received an email that says your company is the subject of a complaint filed with BBB, or asks that you complete a BBB business questionnaire, or claims that a customer review about your business has been posted. It may reference a case number or it may be vague on the details.
These emails are going to companies AND individuals.  In each case, they ask you to click on a link that appears to go to a BBB page, or you are asked to download an attached form or file.
These are very dangerous emails.  It is important that you do NOT click on any of the links in the emails or download any attachments.
If you did click on a link or open or download any attachments, your computer may have unwittingly downloaded a stealthy malware program which is able to pass by most anti-virus programs undetected.  In the event you clicked on a link, you should consider having your computer scanned by a trusted computer repair professional to see if any malware is present and, if so, can be removed.
If you did not click on any links or attachments, you are still strongly encouraged to run a complete virus scan on your system.
You can learn more about these bogus phishing and malware scams at

In the future, if you receive an email that appears to come from Better Business Bureau, please check with your local BBB office to determine whether it is legitimate.  You can find your local BBB office by visiting  You can also forward the email to for assistance.

Thank you for contacting the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.  We hope this information is helpful.

Clifford Kurt
Council of Better Business Bureaus

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.
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