Phishing Email Trap using the Better Business Bureau


Reputable businesses, including Harvard Business Services, are proud of their well-earned ranking of A+ with the Better Business Bureau.  If and when they receive an email involving what appears to be a complaint about their practices from the BBB, it would seem to make sense to open it and see what the problem could be.  That is when the trouble can really begin.  If the affected link or attachment is opened, malware is launched which can quickly wreak havoc and steal information from your computer.

It is easy to be fooled, because most of these bogus emails carry the famous BBB torch logo, and come with a subject line such as “Complaint from your customers.”  Below is an example of one of the phishing emails Harvard Business Services recently received:


From: BBB Subject: BBB processing RE: Case ID 43616056

Attention: Owner/Manager

Here with the Better Business Bureau would like to notify you that we have been filed a complaint (ID 43616056) from your customer in regard to their dealership with you.

Please open the Complaint report below to view the details on this matter and let us know of your position as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.


Gerard Johnson

Dispute Counselor?Better Business Bureau


As you can see, it would be easy for an unsuspecting business, concerned about keeping a high ranking with the BBB to open this.

The BBB recommends to anyone receiving such email:

  • Do not open any attachments
  • Do not click on any links
  • Delete the email from your inbox, and then delete it again from your trash or recycling folder

The Better Business Bureau was founded in 1912 and is a private, nonprofit organization that provides programs of assistance to businesses and consumers.  Their focus is to promote ethical business practices by encouraging honest advertising and selling practices.  They also can serve as a neutral third party to settle marketplace disputes.  Their role in helping to resolve a buyer/seller complaint against a company is very helpful in many cases, and encourages corrections and improvements where appropriate. As the BBB states, “Our mission is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence.”

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