A number of Victoria and Esquimalt businesses have been among those alerting the Better Business Bureau to a potential phone scam.
Callers to businesses have identified themselves as representatives of the Better Business Bureau and asked for information readily available through other public listings.
“I’m not sure what the intent of these calls are,” said Rosalind Scott, the BBB’s Vancouver Island president and CEO.
“My guess is there’s a double intent here. What on earth are they pretending to be us (for)? That to me sends up all kinds of red flags.”
Whether it’s a company trying to get around federal anti-spam email legislation, or trying to put together some kind of marketing campaign, using a legitimate organization’s name without permission doesn’t wash, Scott said.
While the calls on their own don’t appear to be illegal – the police have not been notified – the misrepresentation hinders legitimate research work being done on local businesses by the BBB in its consumer protection role, she said.
“Happily there are some very savvy people out there. The people who called us were aware that it was a scam.”
In a number of cases, Scott said, when business operators requested callers’ phone number to verify the credibility of the inquiry, the person hung up. “If anybody won’t give you callback information, don’t talk to them.”
For a list of tips to ward off such scams, visit bbb.org/Vancouver-island or call 250-386-6348.