Con Targets Businesses, Posing as Chamber of Commerce

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**Following the release of this information from the Better Business Bureau, we were made aware that the con may also claim to be from your own local Chamber, in our case, the Garland Chamber. Please be sure you are speaking with a legitimate organization before providing information about your business. 

Remember, the Garland Chamber will never demand information about your business. We do not use call centers, and we always inform you in writing, in advance, when we will be updating our records. If you have any doubt about a call you receive, contact us directly and we'll be happy to help confirm or deny the validity of the request. 

Con Targets Businesses, Posing as Chamber of Commerce

Originally Released Feb. 4, 2016 

Own a small business or work for one? Watch out for this con that's targeting businesses by posing as the "American Chamber of Commerce."

How the Scam Works

Your business gets a call from someone claiming to represent the American Chamber of Commerce. The caller asks for an employee (current or former) by name and claims to be updating your company's listing in its directory. They ask to verify basic business information, such as address, business name, main contacts, and phone numbers.

This may seem harmless, but it's a phishing con. There is no American Chamber of Commerce. Con artists hope that business owners confuse the "American Chamber" with the real "U.S. Chamber of Commerce" and share information. Scammers can use this information to commit ID theft or target the business with other scams, such as phony invoices.

Tips to avoid a directory scam:

  • Hang up. Don't confirm information from unknown callers. This just gives the scammers something to use against you. 
  • Call again. If you want to confirm that the call was a fraud, reach out to the real organization through a phone number you find on their website or another reliable source. 
  • Don't believe what you see. Scammers are great at mimicking phone numbers, official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because it looks like it's from a legitimate company, does not mean it is.
  • Train staff. Make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of these scams.
  • Create a process for inspecting invoices. Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice.  Designate a small group of employees with authority to approve purchases and pay bills.

For More Information

Learn more about similar scams targeting small businesses, such as the Yellow Pages con and fake invoices for nonexistent government fees, at BBB.org.

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).

Information provided by:
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. | 3033 Wilson Blvd | Suite 600 | Arlington | VA | 22201 

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