October 5, 2022


Enduring Values

Much better Enterprise Bureau: Be on the lookout for awards scam

Lisa Frohnapfel. Courtesy Better Enterprise Bureau

At the very least two Grand Rapids-place compact companies recently were being targeted by a bogus awards corporation, but in its place of falling for it, they termed the Better Organization Bureau.

“This is a very frequent rip-off we’ve witnessed around the state,” claimed Katie Grevious, a communications professional at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Western Michigan.

The plan goes a little something like this: a business is notified it’s been chosen as a winner for “The Bureau Group’s 2022 Grand Rapids Awards,” and presented a code to enter on a web-site. From there the firm is prompted to invest in an award up to $300.

“Most reputable awards do not appear with charges to the winner,” mentioned Lisa Frohnapfel, president and CEO of the BBB Serving Western Michigan. “The intention of these award schemes is to choose edge of a company’s exhilaration and promote them an award at an inflated price tag.”

The phony awards website has more than enough details on it to seem authentic at a glance, but some of the hyperlinks are circular, major the user back to the front website page in which a couple of paragraphs describe the award as if it’s a longstanding Grand Rapids institution:

“The Grand Rapids Award Method is an yearly awards application honoring the achievements and achievements of local enterprises in the course of the Grand Rapids space. Recognition is specified to those companies that have demonstrated the ability to use their finest tactics and carried out packages to produce competitive strengths and prolonged-expression price,” the web site reads.

“The Grand Rapids Award System was recognized to identify the best of neighborhood enterprises in our group. Our business functions completely with nearby small business homeowners, trade teams, specialist associations and other small business promoting and advertising and marketing teams. Our mission is to identify the modest business enterprise community’s contributions to the U.S. financial state.”

But it is all just an net scam.

“The web page doesn’t have something to do with Grand Rapids apart from the title at the top,” Grievous claimed. The web site also brandishes several nicely-acknowledged logos, declaring preceding winners are nationally regarded manufacturers like Merrill Lynch, Very best Invest in and Dollar Auto Rental, which really should be a clue to targeted persons that it is a ruse, considering the fact that none of the earlier winners are organizations that are basically dependent in Grand Rapids.

“There’s a U.S. Chamber of Commerce logo on the landing web site as nicely, but that corporation told the BBB that use of its logo is unauthorized. The web-site even has a section with ideas on how to start and take care of a organization, with images of people today showing up in compact organization configurations, all to convince unsuspecting business proprietors that the trick is respectable.”

Everyone targeted by the rip-off is inspired to arrive forward and report it to bbb.org/scamtracker.

BBB suggests any person contacted about winning awards they did not utilize for really should learn all they can about the award, how prolonged the award has been in existence, how their organization was nominated or picked and to verify out the award company’s BBB profile at BBB.org. If it appears like a bona fide award, and there is a nominal charge involved to attain a plaque or certificate, recipients really should pay back by credit card in the celebration the charge demands to be disputed.