Friday the 13th.
That can only mean one thing. The weather is going to turn ugly again...or at least that seems like the scenario.
Last week we had a cold and busy weekend with the 2018 edition of the Southern Ohio Home and Garden Show. Despite cold temperatures, there was a good turn out and those who did attend were greeted with warm wishes and helpful tips from our exhibitors. Thanks to HER Realors for being our presenting sponsor, along with Advanced Services Heating and Cooling, Horizon, Universal 1 Credit Union, Better Business Bureau, LCNB, AKM Building Systems, Gerber Insurance Agency, Hometown Apparel & Screen Printing, Coppel Coal Co., and the chamber.
On Thursday, Ross County Safety Council presented awards to those local businesses who have excelled in safe working conditions and accident-free workplaces. Congrats to all of those winners.
This weekend promises to be another busy one around the area. The Ross County Fairgrounds will hold Trader Days all weekend, which always brings in hundreds of vendors and visitors. Also, cyclists and runners in the 2nd Annual Buck Fifty will be making their way around a 150-mile course all over Ross County beginning Friday afternoon and ending Saturday evening. Good luck to all of those taking part in the activities and a special thank you to those volunteers who are staffing check points and watching out for the safety of those participating.
Finally, I want to share a cautionary message to each of you. The chamber and Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to make sure you are aware of the most recent round of phishing emails that have come to our attention. There are countless variations on phony debt collection scams, and the latest has scammers pretending to be Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Chamber of Commerce to try to trick businesses into paying "overdue fees."
Business owners throughout the US have said they received phone calls and emails from scammers. One business owner said he received a call from a woman claiming to be with the BBB asking if he was planning to renew his Accreditation for $399. He asked the caller if she was in his local BBB's office, and she replied that she was calling from California. He told her that he goes to the BBB office to pay, and he wasn't going to pay over the phone. Unfortunately, the caller's phone number was blocked, so he had nothing to indicate who was calling or where the call came from.
Another business reported a similar incident to BBB Scam Tracker. The business received an email saying "Hi, Please see below the list of overdue invoices, of which $2,393.95 is due since last month." The email included a link to a payment site that is not associated with BBB and could be malicious.
A related scam is targeting Chambers of Commerce. A businessman described receiving a call from a man using the name "Bocca Deli" who was posing as an employee of the local Regional Chamber of Commerce. The caller requested the names of employees and owners at the company. BBB confirmed that this caller was not associated with the chamber and was phishing for information about members.
Other businesses across the country have also reported that they were contacted by individuals posing as BBB and Chamber employees. In addition to trying to extract money from the businesses, the scammers also try to get personally identifiable information by claiming that they need to update a company's contact information, address, and payment information. They then use the information to perpetrate fraud.
While a BBB office may contact a business for a variety of reasons, you should never give personal or financial information over the phone during an unsolicited call from someone you do not know. A caller from a legitimate partner, such as BBB or the Chamber of Commerce, will not be offended if you tell them you want to contact them through a main number. End the call and call back through the number in your records or the number on the organization's website.
If you ever want to verify the validity of an email or phone call claiming to be from the chamber, call us at 740.702.2722, or for the BBB, contact 614-486-6336 or verify the communication by logging in to your Accredited Business Login Section.
Thanks so much for all you do for our community and have a great weekend!