2019 Best of Business Award Scam

Did you receive an email that looks like this?

Congratulations!

We are letting you know that your award confirmation for the 2019 Best of Business Award is incomplete.

To complete your award confirmation and access your customized award package you need to complete 3 simple steps. There are no costs or obligations to accept your award. To start the quick and easy wizard, please click or cut and paste the following link: Award Acceptance Wizard

The Small Business Community Association is dedicated to empowering and recognizing small business owners who make a difference in their respective communities. If you feel that this award is warranted and you would like to be part of an elite community of small business owners that make up less than 1% of total business owners in the United States, all you need to do is complete your award confirmation.

Once again, to complete your award confirmation and access your customized award package you need to complete 3 simple steps. There are no costs or obligations to accept your award. To start the quick and easy wizard, please click or cut and paste the following link:

Award Acceptance Wizard

We respect your privacy and your inbox. This is a courtesy notification from the SBCA Community. If you wish decline your award and stop receiving notifications please use this link now: Unsubscribe

Once again, Congratulations twice on your nomination and award!

Here’s how it looks in the email (we think that image was automatically generated, which is pretty slick, actually):

award email

It says, “There are no costs or obligations to accept your award.” but that means you’re being added to an online directory (not sure where) of award winners. This seems like a clever way for them to update their list.

During the multi-step wizard you walk through (while confirming your data), you’re offered a plaque for $97.

plaque offer

There might be more offers (upgrades) after that but this is the crux of what they’re doing. It’s not really a scam as much as it is a little slimy, if anything. It’s somewhat clever (we’ll give them that) and we believe they have every intention of delivering the $97 plaque with your name on it, which you could probably have made locally a bit cheaper.

Just remember, when you actually win a real award with a plaque, you don’t have to pay for it – it’s given to you. That’s why this isn’t completely on the up and up and it’s really just a way for you to buy something from them and update your information with them (so they can probably try to sell you more things – they know you’re a buyer or respond to their emails). Sure, you can get it and hang it in your office if you want but just know you didn’t actually win this on any kind of merit.

Company / Website

The company doing this is the Small Business Community Association (smallbusinesscommunity.org). There are a number of errors in the email you get and the website.

Here’s the start of the wizard they walk you though and they didn’t even bother to clean up the text at the bottom:

Non-professional footer on website

On the main page of their website, we don’t get this part, which says:

Limited Time 30 Day Free Trial

Unlock All of the Small Business Community Premium Content… For Free!

It’s a trial to get the content for free? Then why is it a trial?

Limited Time 30 Day Free Trial Unlock All of the Small Business Community Premium Content... For Free!

They’re obviously either not good at writing sales copy or it’s deliberately written that way to confuse people – we’re not sure.

They also offer some kind of press release service on their website, which can get your business some exposure but this website doesn’t seem to get too much traffic. We checked for a “press release” they wrote and it seems to only exist on their website. We don’t see that it was pushed out through the normal channels.

Conclusion

Buyer beware.

You would honestly be better served spending your money on other efforts to promote your business. Sure, you’ll feel good for doing this and you’ll think you’re doing some good for your business, but we don’t think it’s worth what they’re charging.

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