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Lotto Scam Falsely Using BBB's Name Reaches Alaska

Con Artists Use Better Business Bureau's Reputation in Schemes

Anchorage, Alaska - May 21, 2010 - Con artists are using Better Business Bureau's name to scam consumers and businesses.

BBB Lotto Scam Reaches Alaska

BBB received information that an Alaskan couple received a call from a Michael Clark claiming to be from Winners International and saying they had won the BBB Lotto. The caller said they could win upwards of $500,000 by paying the $640 processing fee. Variations of the BBB lotto scam have been reported around the nation by consumers who were contacted over the phone, door-to-door, or by e-mail. One victim lost $80,000 to scammers posing as BBB employees. Tips: BBB does not have a lottery and does not solicit door-to-door.

Unfortunately, this is not the only scheme that uses BBB's reputable name. Alaskans should also watch out for these schemes:

Phishing Attack: Counterfeit BBB complaint notices are being e-mailed to businesses across the country-these appear to be a phishing attempt. Businesses reported receiving a suspicious e-mail from "seatac@bbb.org" with the subject line "BBB Complaint Case #... (Ref #...)." The e-mail claims the company did not respond to a consumer complaint. A link says "please click here to access the complaint" and goes to ca-bbb.org-a fake site that is currently unavailable. Tips: BBB does not refer to itself as "Seatac BBB." Do not provide personal details or payment information via unsolicited e-mail requests. Click here for more details.

False Door-to-Door Accreditation: Con artists show up at business doorsteps, falsely claiming BBB affiliation and trying to convince business owners to give them payment information in exchange for BBB Accreditation. Tips: Do not provide business details or payment information to individuals who show up on doorsteps. Legitimate BBB representatives may contact businesses periodically by phone to update BBB Reliability Reports or invite select businesses to apply for BBB's Accreditation program. Click here for more details.

Avoid schemes and verify claims that use BBB's name. Call 907-562-0704 or e-mail info@thebbb.org with questions regarding BBB, to report false use of BBB's name or to verify if a caller is a legitimate BBB representative.

About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington:
Your Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses. The BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. For more information about the services and products provided by your BBB, call 206-431-2222 or 253-830-2924 in Washington, 503-212-3022 in Oregon, 907-562-0704 in Alaska, or visit our website at www.bbb.org.

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