DuPont, Wash. – March 15, 2010 – Con artists are showing up at the doorsteps of local businesses, falsely claiming affiliation with your Better Business Bureau and trying to convince business owners to give them payment information in exchange for BBB Accreditation.
Business owners should be aware that these attempts are not legitimate.
BBB has received reports from the Seattle area indicating that impostors, using names like 'John Peterson' and 'Ed Washington,' are falsely soliciting BBB Accreditation and requesting money in a pushy, aggressive manner. Others say the cons are promoting a nonexistent BBB lottery.
Better Business Bureau does not have a lottery and does not solicit door-to-door. Do not provide business details or payment information to individuals who show up at your doorstep promising BBB Accreditation.
BBB representatives may contact businesses periodically by phone to update their BBB Reliability Reports or invite select businesses to apply for BBB's Accreditation program.
"Qualifying for BBB Accreditation is a major milestone; businesses must undergo an extensive application process," said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation have been thoroughly reviewed and must abide by BBB's Code of Business Practices."
To become BBB Accredited, businesses must maintain proper licensing, be in business for at least a year and have a positive track record in the marketplace with no unresolved complaints. Businesses that do not meet BBB's Code of Business Practices are ineligible for BBB Accreditation; those that violate standards face revocation from the program.
Businesses are encouraged to verify the BBB representative's legitimacy. Call 206-431-2222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding BBB's Accreditation Program or to verify if a caller is a legitimate BBB representative.
Better Business Bureau is a not-for-profit organization funded by BBB Accredited Businesses that pay a yearly fee in support of BBB's mission to advance marketplace trust.