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Watch Out for Misuse of the BBB Accredited Business Seal

Watch Out for Misuse of the BBB Accredited Business Seal - The Beacon


By: Tom

Watch Out for Misuse of the BBB Accredited Business Seal

When looking for a reliable business that you can trust, we encourage you to “Look for the Seal;” however, your BBB® would like to add that you should go one step further in determining that you’re truly looking at the correct seal.  Unfortunately, the BBB seal is a valuable item, and some operators may try using a copy of the seal to trick unsuspecting consumers into trusting them. 

What to look for:  This may help when you’re looking online for product services and you come across a site displaying the BBB seal.  First, most of our accredited businesses should be using a dynamic seal.  If the correct seal is installed, it will usually contain pertinent information regarding the business’ rating and when the business became accredited, and should contain the language “Click for Review.”  Clicking on the seal will launch the company’s Business Review which provides more information about the business.

If you should come across a seal that displays only the URL to the Business Review or does not link to the Business Review at all, this could be a sign of misuse of the BBB seal.  If you’re not sure, contact your local BBB to make sure that the business is truly accredited. 

Another thing to do is a little more research on the website.  Some scammers actually perpetrate a form of business id theft by using a business’ address and phone number, and in other cases, they may even use a variation of the business name.  Click on other links on the page, and look for misspellings, and poor grammar.  These are good indications that this could be someone operating outside of the United States. 

If you’re still not certain, visit and search for the business by their phone number, read the Business Review, and compare the business’ website listed in the Business Review with the URL you used previously.

Because the BBB name and logo are valued trust marks, some unscrupulous people may use them to lure unsuspecting victims to turn over their personal information, or to give them payments from checking accounts, credit cards, or prepaid cards. 

Even when looking for the seal in print advertising, don’t just trust, but verify that the business is authorized to use the logo in their advertising.  We desire consumers to be safe when looking for a reliable business, and they won’t mind that you’ve checked them out with your BBB.   

So, if you spot a BBB seal that doesn’t look quite right, contact us, and we’ll investigate it.  Again, we want consumers to have good information in making wise purchasing decisions, and that’s why we want you to come to your BBB where you can Start With Trust®.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Tom is Vice President for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. In addition to answering the needs of our accredited businesses, Tom can be seen on WEVV providing tips for businesses and consumers. He also works closely with other local media outlets to keep our community informed of marketplace issues affecting our area.