The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a non-profit organization that has worked for more than 70 years to create a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. It accomplishes this through consumer and business education, setting ethical standards for businesses, complaint resolution and exposing unethical business practices.
It's been only a few days since millions of customers' email addresses were stolen in one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history (If you don't know what we're talking about, click here). However, here at the BBB, we've already seen the first Epsilon data breach phishing scam.
Phishing, a popular emailing scam, is a term coined by computer hackers who use email to fish the Internet hoping to hook you into giving them your logins, passwords and/or credit card information. If you are a customer of one of the companies that had email data stolen, be on the lookout for phishing emails.
We knew as soon as we read it that this was not a typical complaint to the BBB. The complainant, an elderly woman from Ohio, was filing a complaint against a collection agency located in Wisconsin. Since we process all complaints to the BBB against Wisconsin companies (regardless of where the consumer lives), it came to us.
She was complaining that the collection agency was calling her to collect on a debt she didn’t owe. Actually, that type of consumer complaint is fairly common against collection agencies. However, it was pretty clear that she was receiving lots of calls, from many different collection agencies, about numerous debts she didn’t owe. Why? She was the victim of identity theft.