BBB Release: $200 Payday Promised In Falsified BBB E-mail
Drivers: Steer Clear
Anchorage, Alaska – Oct. 28, 2010 – A forged e-mail is circulating; promising to pay citizens to drive across town marketing a Better Business Bureau decal on their vehicles. However, the e-mail did not come from BBB and the opportunity is invalid.
The subject line says "Now Hiring!!!" It appears to come from 'Better.Business.Bureau@gala.net,' an email not affiliated with BBB. It begins with:
"MAKE MONEY BY SIMPLY DRIVING YOUR CAR.
ADVERTISER WANTED FOR Better Business Bureau.
EARN NO LESS THAN $200 WEEKLY TO ADVERTISE ON YOUR CAR."
The e-mail states that BBB will pay participants $200 dollars a week to rent advertising space on their vehicles, adding that drivers can expect a $400 money order upfront. All drivers have to do is cover their vehicles' exteriors in BBB "vinyl decals" or "auto wraps." To get started, recipients are instructed to respond with personal information—including names, addresses, phone numbers, ages, occupations, makes and years of vehicles.
Warning: BBB serving Alaska, Oregon, and Western Washington does not send unsolicited e-mails requesting private information. Steer clear.
"Sadly, this isn't the first schemer that's tried to pose as BBB in order to dupe the public," says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "They pretend to be affiliated with trustworthy agencies and organizations to gain false credibility… In a time when so many people are looking for jobs and legitimate ways to make money, this con seems especially cruel."
If the e-mail is unsolicited: Do not click on links or open attachments. To verify the legitimacy of BBB e-mails, contact your BBB directly at 907-562-0704 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Paid to drive" offers: Although they sound enticing and some legitimate companies employ these techniques to advertise their brand, be wary of offers that state payment will be via money order and request bank account information or other personal details upfront.
About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.