Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beware of Phony Awards

A good Chamber member brought to our attention an attempt by an organization to scam Carroll businesses into accepting a "prestigious" award. The award looks nice, like crystal. Shiny. Etched. Trouble is, the business has to pay to earn the award.

Emails notifying businesses they have won awards from a national association appear to be part of a widespread scheme destined to get your business to pay for "vanity"awards and plaques. We are not listing such organizations here because we do not want to give credence or publicity to such underhanded tactics. However the Better Business Bureau has received numerous inquires about a group claiming to be a national organization based in Washington, D.C.

The Better Business Bureau offers several tips to avoid losing money in a "vanity award program:
  • Learn everything you can about who is giving the award. If it is coming from a mystery company, chances are it simply wants your money.
  • If you didn't apply for an award or the group cannot tell you haw you were nominated, changes are the award is not legitimate.
  • Most legitimate awards to not come with costs for the recipient. I there is a cost, scrutinize it even more closely.
  • Ask specific questions about how your company or organization was chosen for an award and find out how many similar awards are given each year.

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