Gone Phishing

Gone Phishing

By Joe Natale

Recently, I received an email from Dun & Bradstreet with the subject line “New Complaint: 6733847,” stating that “Dun & Bradstreet has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers…”

Why would anyone complain about me? Good spirited, full of hope, optimistic, persistent, cooperative, thoughtful, loyal friend, helpful, team player, genuine, tenderhearted, good citizen, reliable, trusting. At least, that’s what my yellow Charlie Brown coffee cup says.

I was directed to open the attached zip file in order to respond to the complaint. There was a warning that failure to promptly respond may be reflected in the report Dun & Bradstreet gives to consumers. Even worse, the complaint would become part of my permanent record, as if that hasn’t haunted me for most of my life.

Dun & Bradstreet is a reputable company that licenses information on businesses and corporations for use in credit decisions, business-to-business marketing, supply chain management and issues nine digit unique idenfitication DUNS numbers for all entities doing business with the United States.

The email made me suspicious because 1) I do not have any customers; 2) I am not registered with Dun & Bradstreet; and 3) what it says on my yellow coffee cup. Putting on my investigative reporter’s hat – a souvenir NCIS baseball cap – I Googled “Dun & Bradstreet complaint email,” and found numerous posts about spammers targeting businesses using the Dun & Bradstreet brand.

Thus, my suspicions were confirmed that a person or persons were phishing – attempt to acquire information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by posing as a trustworthy entity.

Dun & Bradstreet is investigating phishing. There is a notice on its website indicating if you were a recepient of an email regarding a Better Business Bureau complaint filed against your company, do not open the attachment and delete it immediately.

The chances of me opening the attached zip file were as remote as me sending money to the heir to a throne who promises to share untold riches with me once he is reinstalled as the rightful ruler of an exoctically named nation, which I doubt has even registered for a DUNS number.

Joe Natale


Joe Natale is a freelance writer from Springfield.

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