NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Better Business Bureau is known for evaluating and identifying businesses that have trustworthy practices.
They accredit those businesses that meet their standards.
They also are known to warn people of scams going around, and they say one of the more recent ones, involves scammers pretending to be them.
In the last month, they received phone calls, emails and Facebook messages from businesses saying a scammer, pretending to be from the BBB, is asking them for money to renew their accreditation.
“In our region, over 88 false BBB claims, and our region goes as high as the Eastern Shore over as far as Richmond, down as far as Gaston and the Outer Banks,” said BBB marketing coordinator Jamie Howell.
Now here’s why this scam can be an easy one to fall for.
The BBB says they do collect a fee from businesses to get or keep their accreditation.
But here’s how you know if your dealing with a scammer.
The BBB says they’ll never just demand payment in one day.
“When an accreditation is up for renewal, we send out an email 45 days ahead of time specifically to the accredited business, then at 30 days they get a letter, and then they start receiving a phone call once they go delinquent,” said Howell.
Another way to know if you’re being scammed: the BBB can’t grant your business accreditation right away after a payment.
It can take 7 to 10 days.
And you also can’t pay them to give your business a better grade, say to go from a C-rated business to a B-rated business.
So if someone’s trying to sell you either of those options, it’s a scam.
And if you still are unsure, the BBB recommends you hang up, look up their number, and call that number to double check.
The BBB also has a feature that allows you to view all of the reported scam attempts in your area. To view the BBB’s Scam Tracker here.