NOW:53208:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
19°
H 19° L 9°
Clear | 8MPH

Beware: Business Vanity Awards Are Back

Oct. 9, 2013

Beware: Business Vanity Awards Are Back

The Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin (BBB) is alerting businesses and organizations to be cautious of congratulatory emails claiming the company has won the “Best of…” award for businesses in their community or industry.

All too frequently vanity pitches for “Who’s Who” type publications, biographies or nominations for awards or special memberships have a catch to them. In some cases honorees who receive such emails, letters or calls are not chosen by a select committee, as they are often told, but are plucked off mailing lists or have had their email addresses harvested from web sites. Phony vanity awards prey on small businesses who are trying to make their companies stand out in their industry.

Recently, the BBB has received several documented reports from Wisconsin businesses, regarding emails received from such (out of state) award notification firms. Business owners are told that a plaque and certificate have been created to mark the honor and is available for a price (a minimum of $140) and even offers a “press release media campaign” at an additional cost.

“Award schemes often have little or no value to the business within the community for which they do business,” said Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “Businesses are generally not charged to receive honors for which they are awarded. Vanity awards are often money-making schemes that have little to do with a business’ performance.”

BBB offers the following tips when checking the validity of an award:

•Check out the company. Get a free BBB Reliability Report at bbb.org.
•Keep an eye out for red flags. Signs of a scam are receiving an award you didn’t apply for or omitted basic details on the organization in the email. Most awards of value to any business will come from a local business organization or a known, recognized trade organization for a specific industry.
•Don’t be afraid to ask questions. An organization offering a reputable award won’t hesitate to answer in-depth questions about its program including how many businesses are honored each year and how honorees are chosen.
•If the announcement for the award leads to a web site, do not enter any personal information on that site unless you are positive of the award’s validity.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Wauwatosa superintendent attends President Barack Obama's 'ConnectED to the Future' event 11/18

» Children's Hospital of Wisconsin moves babies to newly designed NICU 11/18

» City Market closes North Avenue location 11/17

» Early momentum doesn't stay with Tosa East 11/14

» Wauwatosa woman investigated for stealing credit card information from Froedtert Hospital patients 11/13

» Man pointed handgun at front door of Applebee's 11/10

» UW Credit Union branch could break ground in Wauwatosa this month 11/10

» Suburban roundup: Week three of the WIAA football postseason 11/10

» Indulgence Chocolatiers to open in Wauwatosa, and sell Purple Door Ice Cream 11/10

» Former Central States Mortgage CEO to plead guilty to obstruction of justice Updated:  11/6

» Tosa East stuns Brookfield East in volleyball sectional 11/6

» Election roundup: How the Milwaukee suburbs and Lake Country voted Updated:  11/5

» Walker wins Wauwatosa by slimmer margin than the state 11/5

» Walker's neighbors divided over election 11/4

» Authorities identify Wauwatosa man killed by train Updated:  11/4

» Wauwatosa apartments sell for $2.5 million 11/4

» Suburban roundup: Week two of the WIAA football postseason Updated:  11/3

» Power restored to Eisenhower after classes canceled 10/31

» Photo Gallery: WIAA state soccer tourney day one 10/30

» Four-story apartment building proposed for Hall Automotive site 10/30

» Apartments planned at Hall Automotive site in Tosa Updated:  10/30

» Little Read Book in Wauwatosa has author signing Sunday 10/30

» Pedestrian struck, killed by train in Wauwatosa Updated:  10/29

» Suburban roundup: Week one of the WIAA football postseason 10/27

» New Mayfair parking structure to open tonight 10/24

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Hidden Tosa

 

"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporter Rory Linnane explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

Local Business Directory

CONNECT