Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Businesses Targeted with Email Purportedly form the Better Business Bureau - IC3

Note: This is a repost of an Alert from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) - March 27, 2012
Please see the following link: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2012/120327.aspx for the original alert.

Businesses Targeted With E-mail Purportedly from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)


The IC3 has received several complaints from businesses regarding an e-mail, purportedly from the BBB, which states the BBB has received a complaint from a customer regarding their business. The recipient is asked to review the complaint attached to the e-mail and respond to the BBB. The file attached to the e-mail contains a virus.

In one complaint received by the IC3, a business claimed their computer was infected with a virus after opening the attachment in the e-mail they received. As a result, the business lost nearly $100,000 when fraudsters successfully wired money from the company's bank account after the virus enabled them to capture passwords and other important banking information.

The BBB posted the following alert on December 7, 2011.

http://www.bbb.org/us/article/alert-malicious-complaint-email-claiming-its-from-bbb-30916

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vote for the Ending: Do You Like What They Did With Mass Effect 3?

Update: Message from Bioware, maker of Mass Effect 3 - http://blog.bioware.com/2012/03/21/4108/



Note: This blog is a repost of a blog created by Holly Doering, created on March 20th(
http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/03/vote-for-the-ending-do-you-like-what-they-did-with-mass-effect-3/):


Players of the Bioware game Mass Effect 3 who dislike the open-ended ending may complain to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.


According to blogger Chris Morris, a user called “El Spiko” posted on the Bioware forums that he’s complained to the FTC about the trilogy’s resolution and is calling on other disgruntled fans to do the same.

“After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims,” he wrote. “…after the terrible ending that was in no way the product that had been advertised to me and the lack of any kind of response from Bioware/EA to address this, I felt it was one of my only recourses.”

According to Morris, “Before complaining to the Feds, gamers launched the usual online protests, including a petition and a charity drive…”

I didn’t find either of the Facebook pages he mentions by searching within FB: pro-ending “Keep Mass Effect” or anti-ending “Retake Mass Effect 3,” but Mortz states that the Retake Mass Effect 3 page amassed some 42,000 supporters, and that a Twitter account has over 4,000 followers.

Within FB I did find a blog by Jonathan Holmes, who demands in his response “Retake Mass Effect? Let’s REMAKE Mass Effect” that Bioware make the game exactly like Super Mario Brothers.

Bioware hasn’t made any commitments to address the issue, but is said to have acknowledged the complaints on FB as follows (although again, I couldn’t find it using the FB search box.)

“We are aware that there are concerns about a recent post from this account regarding the ending of the game. In this post it was stated that at this time we do not have plans to change the ending. We would like to clarify that we are actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration and have ruled nothing out. At this time we are still collecting and considering your feedback and have not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending.

“Your feedback and opinions are of the utmost importance to us. We apologize for any confusion this has caused. Our top priority regarding this discussion is to keep communication with you, our loyal fans, open and productive.”

What do you think? Did you like the Mass Effect 3 ending? If you didn’t, does it ruin all three games for you or just the one?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Tax Tips from your Better Business Bureau

     While the deadline to file and/or pay your taxes was extended to April 17 this year, many Americans look forward to receiving a tax refund check from the government. During this tax season, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago and Northern Illinois advises taxpayers to use caution when filing returns to avoid making common mistakes and to use caution when selecting tax preparation help to avoid headaches and mounting fines or fees if the return isn’t correct or filed late.


     Consumers continue to use the BBB for advice on tax preparation services they can trust. The referral organization experienced a 122-percent increase in the number of individuals who researched Tax Return Preparation; that’s 7,542 inquiries for this 12 month period compared to 3,396 for the previous 12 months.

     “A tax refund can provide much-needed aid for families enduring financial hardship,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Your BBB advises the public to fill out their tax return forms carefully to help ensure they don’t make mistakes at a time when they can least afford it.”

The BBB offers the following tips for individuals still working on their returns:

• Research tax preparers you can trust for free at www.bbb.org

• Be wary of Tax Refund Anticipation Loans. This is a loan provided by a third party against a taxpayer's expected refund. The tax refund anticipation loan is not provided by the U.S. Treasury or the IRS and is subject to the interest and fees set by the lender. Some of these lenders have hidden fees and file inaccurate tax returns without consumer consent;

• Check for missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers which can delay a tax refund;

• Taxpayers must sign and date returns. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even with one income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign;

• File electronically instead of using paper tax forms to receive your refund more rapidly;

• Make any check out to “United States Treasury” and enclose it with, but don't attach it to, your return or Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. Include your Social Security number, daytime phone number, the tax year and the type of form filed;

• If you are behind, get an extension for your return. By April 17, you should have either filed a return or requested an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay;

• Be sure to keep all receipts and other documents and forms that were used in preparing your tax return. The IRS has three years to audit a return. They can audit you without limitation if you do not file, file a false return, or purposely avoid paying taxes;

• If you notice a mistake on your prepared federal tax return, you can make changes by filing a 1040X. You have three years after filing to correct your return with this form.

For more advice on finding professionals you can trust, visit http://www.bbb.org/

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As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.

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