Scammers claim to be working with the BBB | Better Business Bureau

No one is immune from having their identity stolen, not even Better Business Bureau. Reports have been coming in to BBB offices and on Scam Tracker regarding individuals claiming to be working with BBB.

An Alaska man told us he got a call from a man named “James Stewart” stating he was holding a prize package for him. The Alaska man reports the caller told him he was working with BBB to send him the package and requested he wire money in order to get the prize.

In Washington, a woman reports she received a call from someone named “Troy McMillon.” The caller told her she won a lottery through Publisher’s Clearing House and asked her to fill out a T-91 form. The information was to be sent to both the IRS and BBB in order to cover any taxes she owed on the prize.

This is just a snapshot of incidents reported to BBB. Please remember that Better Business Bureau does not operate or partner with groups who hold lotteries, and will never ask consumers to wire money in order to claim a prize.

BBB offers the following advice on fake calls and emails:

  • Verify first. If you receive a phone call from BBB and are uncertain of its accuracy, ask for the caller’s name and then hang up. Then lookup your local BBB office at bbb.org. Call the number listed online and ask to speak with the person who called you.
  • Check the email. BBB does not use Gmail or Yahoo email addresses to communicate. Your local BBB uses emails ending in @thebbb.org.
  • Don’t open. Never click on links or attachments from unknown third parties. This puts you at risk from downloading viruses or opening malicious websites.

For more consumer protection tips and information on BBB investigations, visit bbb.org/northwest. To report an incident to Scam Tracker, visit www.bbb.org/scamtracker.