Who’s Who In Local Communities – Really?


Award CertificateThis past Friday, I received the following informing me that I and the BBB had received honorable mention in an article by Stephen Bozanek.

Good morning!

We wanted you to know that you received Honorable Mention in yesterday’s article titled “Who’s Who in Local Communities” by Stephen Bozanek, recognizing individuals and businesses who have recently contributed to improving their local communities.

The article will remain available at www.newsdigest.co/news/communities/* for the next few hours and is available for on-demand download and printing.

We wish you the best of continued success.

Sincerely,

Lisa Davis
News Digest International
http://www.newsdigest.co*

Of course, when I see e-mails like this, I become very suspicious.  As a general rule, I never click on links within an e-mail from people I don’t know, and if the link provided looks suspicious.  This is a good practice for anyone who receives questionable e-mails. 

I did copy the link provided and pasted it into the address bar of my browser, and brought up their website.  I found nothing about me or the Better Business Bureau.  I did see other articles with the byline by Joseph Bozanek.  I did a search for Stephen Bozanek, and found an article relating to fraudulent Who’s Who Directories.  Another check on the suffix of dot co shows that this domain is registered in the country of Colombia. 

Clicking on links from within an e-mail could spell trouble.  You may be taken to a site which is seeking payment for a Who’s Who Directory, and you will need to provide them with personal information such credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal identifying information that could compromise your identity.  The other thing that could happen is that by clicking on the link would spawn a virus or other malware on your computer.

For more information you can trust, visit www.evansville.bbb.org.  If you’ve are a victim of who’s who offers, contact your local BBB.  If you are in the Tri-State, contact us at info@evansville.bbb.org, or call (812) 473-0202 or (800) 359-0979.

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*Links removed by author


Written by

Tom is V.P of Bureau Policy and Standards for the Tri-State Better Business Bureau. In addition to answering the needs of our accredited businesses, Tom can frequently be seen on WTVW 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.

12 Comments to “Who’s Who In Local Communities – Really?”

  1. LuxuryJets says:

    I received this myself and Googling it led me hear. Strangely, I have used this website to post press releases in order to help with my website’s SEO and although it’s not the world’s best PR site, it seems legit.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about not clicking on unknown links, but in this instance I think it’s merely a very misguided attempt to put their website in the shop window.

  2. Helena Sheizon says:

    I am receiving exactly the same message. Apparently it is a popular prank.

  3. ROSEANNA LEATON says:

    Thank you for your research here. I also received this email…and copied and pasted it into the browser for similar reasons. Which immediately brought me to your post. Thank you for sharing your findings.

  4. James Ponder says:

    I also received this email and went on a wild goose chase to find the article. There are lots of charlatans looking for ways to make money on the Internet. Thanks for checking this out!

  5. Colleen Brennan-Vandersteen says:

    I also received the same email and tried checking this out.

    I appreciate your article on this situation and greatly appreciate your time for investigating.

    Thank you!

  6. janice says:

    My boyfriend received the same messge! Thanks for your time and research. I have copied and pasted below, blocked his email for security purposes:

    ***From: Lisa Davis, Editor (News Digest) [mailto:info@news-talk.net]
    Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 6:55 AM
    To: xxxxxxxxx.com
    Subject: Community Service Recognition

    Good morning!

    We wanted you to know that you received Honorable Mention in yesterday’s article titled “Who’s Who in Local Communities” by Stephen Bozanek, recognizing individuals and businesses who have recently contributed to improving their local communities.

    The article will remain available at http://www.newsdigest.co/news/communities/ for the next few hours and is available for on-demand download and printing.

    We wish you the best of continued success.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa Davis
    News Digest International
    http://www.newsdigest.co

  7. Cindy Hnason says:

    I just got exactly the same thing. urrrhhhh !

  8. Dave Rogers says:

    Thank you all for replying to this hoax. This is the stuff that needs to stopped. I don’t know anything about this publication or Lisa Davis … however both are frauds of deceit. All of my business and personal contacts will get the word.

  9. Ruth E. Thaler-Carter says:

    I got the same message and was suspicious of it because there was no way to see “my” mention and it seemed to be saying you had to pay to get access to your mention.

    By the way, the country is Colombia, not Columbia.

  10. Nancy says:

    Yup, I got one too and also checked it out, no article or mention of my name of anything to do with my job or community! super scam and waste of time!

  11. Anon E. Mous says:

    It is a clever way to drive traffic. I bet most people not only click to the site, but spend a little time clicking around trying to find the mention.

    Scummy, but clever.

  12. Josh says:

    It is true that .co is the domain for Colombia, but this in no way indicates something suspicious . Many companies register domains under .co as a way to shorten the URLs needed for themselves. Also, given how crowded the .com domain already is, .co provides a new area to register domain names in. The most obvious example for this is when Twitter shortens URLs, they end up at “t.co” in order to make them the shortest possible.

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