Scam Alert: Best of Business Award

A client recently forwarded me an email advising her that her web-based business had been awarded a “Best of Business” award. We’ve seen these come and go since about 2013, and it continues to resurface – and it is “new” to a lot of business owners, so I’m covering it here.

Short answer:These are almost always a scam. Please don’t click on the links!

Even though your business is awesome, these scams are offered to any business for whom the perpetrators can obtain contact info, even those with a bad rating from BBB. Scammers don’t care if your business is wonderful. They have other goals:

1) Sell you cheap junk
2) Get your credit card info
3) Confirm that your email is live to
4) Sell your email address to other scammers

The reason this one works too often is that we all like the idea of awards, and it’s great promotion to have an award on your site, right?

How Scammers Get Your Email Address
Ages ago, we actually put email addresses on our websites. Bot programs scour the internet for email addresses (especially on sites designed long ago and not updated). Scammers also buy and sell lists of “live” email addresses. Your own promotion can be used against you. Groups in social media may be innocently sharing your contact info because they’re happy with your work, unwittingly placing it in the path of web scouring bots.

So seriously, your best bet is to simply delete these emails. Don’t post your email address on public forums or social media. Be sure your web designer uses a contact form on your site instead of your email address.

And when in doubt, delete!

Posted in scams, security, site design.

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