E-Mail Scam Targets Small Business Bank Accounts

Attempts To Steal Money From Firms

Cyber crooks are using the Better Business Bureau's (BBB) good name to target American small businesses with a new e-mail phishing scam that infects company computers with malware that hunts for bank account numbers and passwords – all in an attempt to steal money from firms.

A plumbing company in Monroe, LA, recently fell victim to the scam. The trouble began when the business received an e-mail that purported to be from the BBB. The email claimed that someone had filed a complaint against the company with the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately, the e-mail was a fake that downloaded viruses onto two of the company's computers. Luckily, the computers were wiped clean before the malware infection could steal any banking information.

The Better Business Bureau says that the phishing e-mails use the BBB's name and logo to give the appearance of a newly filed compliant. Thus posed, the e-mail attempts to trick business owners into opening a link or attachment, supposedly to view the complaint. However, clicking the link or attachment downloads malware onto computers.

If you receive an e-mail that looks suspicious, the BBB recommends that you:

  • Do NOT click on any links or attachments.
  • Read the e-mail carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammar, generic greetings such as "Dear member" instead of a name)
  • Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as "Click on the link or your account will be closed."
  • Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is truly from www.bbb.org.
  • Delete the e-mail from your computer completely (be sure to empty your "trash can" or "recycling bin," as well).
  • Run anti-virus software updates frequently and do a full system scan. If you are not certain whether the complaint is legitimate, contact your local BBB (www.bbb.org/find).