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Better Business Bureau warns that award scams are going around

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It's always nice to be recognized for great work, but some businesses are reporting that they are being targeted with "awards" that are really potential money grabs.

Dan Buchta, with the Better Business Bureau explains a common scam going around.

"It is known as a vanity award scheme. It starts with an email that informs small businesses and nonprofits they are a recipient of a "Best of (insert city name) Award." But in order to claim their trophy, they have to pay up. Business owners report fees from $149 to $229 to claim the honor and receive a personalized plaque," said Buchta.

If you get a notification that you've won an award, the Better Business Bureau has a warning.

"Don't pay. Most legitimate awards do not come with costs to the recipient. Major red flag if there is a fee. Make sure you know the nomination process. If you didn't apply for it, or the group cannot tell you how you were nominated, chances are the award is not legitimate," said Buchta.

There are steps businesses can take when they do want to seek out awards.

"They need to do their research. Check the vanity award company's BBB business review at bbb.org to ensure the offer is legit. Also, investigate which other local businesses in your community have participated in these awards in the past. If they are well known, they are most likely legit," said Buchta.

The Better Business Bureau has a number of resources to help you protect your identity and money. You can find out more at bbb.org.

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