Scam Alert: Local businesses targeted

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Better Business Bureau usually helps fight against scams, now it's become the target of one.

A scam artist posing as the Better Business Bureau is sending out emails in the Richmond area.

Todd Van Patten is one of dozens of local business owners who've recently received the email, which appears to be an urgent notice from the BBB. It indicates there's a customer complaint  and provides a link to click for the complaint report. Van Patten immediately knew something wasn't right.

"I knew something was wrong as soon as I got it because all of my customers know me personally. They really do," said Van Patten. "If there's an issue they know they can call me directly."

According to the BBB a number of local business owners have called stating they've received similar emails.

"It's resurfaced again and it's back with a vengeance. It's all over the place," said Tom Gallagher, spokesperson for the BBB. Gallagher says if you get the email delete it immediately. Clicking on that complaint report link can lead to big problems.

"There's potential for a virus with that -- it doesn't seem to be in all cases but it's not worth the risk," he added.

There are some red flags to help you recognize the phony email including it's bad grammar, which is something Van Pattten noticed.

"The grammar was terrible.  Whoever wrote it needs to take an English literature class or something," said Van Patten.

If you receive a similar email and aren't sure if it's legitimate call your local BBB office.

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