12 On Your Side: National phishing scam hits local business owners

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A massive nationwide phishing scam is targeting dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses in the Augusta area.

The email looks like a complaint from the Better Business Bureau but it's really a way for bad guys to steal your information and infect your computer.

"If a business clicked on those links, they would need to do something proactive to stop the infiltration of personal information that could take place," said Gigi Turner with the BBB.

The BBB is getting dozens a call every day from business owners in town.

Pat Schaffer, owner of Villa Europa, was one of many in our area to receive the phishing scam email. Schaffer, who is involved with the BBB, says the email looked legitimate.

"It had their logo displayed. It had a link. It had the national phone number," she said. "It does feel a little bit scary."

Turner says the BBB is working with the FBI to find the people behind the scam that steals your information and infects your computer with a virus.

The BBB warns business owners to check the email for a case code. Real BBB case numbers always begin with the numbers 670. Also, there should not be any other recipients listed on real BBB email.

Finally, check the grammar. Schaffer says the bad grammar was a red flag, so she never clicked on the link.

"It's a shame you got to go in with the attitude trust no one," she said.

Call or email the BBB if you think you may have received one of the scam emails.

The best way to avoid phishing scams is to make sure you have a good anti-virus system on your computer.

You can visit the Augusta BBB's website here.


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