The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce would like to remind members to always be on the lookout for possible scams and frauds. Online fraud is on the rise and businesses continue to be a target of thieves and scammers looking to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for their gain. Often fraudsters try to impersonate trusted institutions, like your bank/credit union, government agencies, or trusted non-profits in the community like the chamber of commerce.
While we haven’t received any specific reports, we wanted to be proactive and alert you to the following chamber practices so that you can stay diligent and protect yourself and your business.
- The North Central Massachusetts Chamber will never ask you for any personal data through unsolicited emails, texts messages, pop-up windows or website banners. If you were to receive something electronically that looks suspicious and claiming it’s from the Chamber then reach out to us immediately;
- If you ever receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the Chamber or one of our affiliate organizations* (listed below) and asking for personal or financial details, then reach out to us immediately. We may occasionally call to collect or confirm information, but you should not provide any sensitive information unless you are absolutely certain that it is a legitimate call from the Chamber;
- The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce does not utilize telemarketing firms. If you ever receive a suspicious call from a telemarketer claiming they are soliciting donations for the Chamber or saying they are updating their records, then you should contact us immediately. Do not provide any sensitive personal information;
- The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce does not endorse any particular products, services, candidates, companies or charities other than its own affiliate organizations. Any solicitations you receive claiming that they are affiliated with the Chamber, endorsed by the Chamber, claiming their product is distributed by the Chamber or using similar language should be viewed with some level of caution. You should contact the Chamber immediately to confirm validity;
- The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is an independent organization that is not affiliated with any national, state or local chamber of commerce. Anyone approaching you claiming that they are another “chapter” of the chamber or a business group that is associated with our Chamber or one of our affiliate organizations should be viewed with caution. You should contact the Chamber to confirm validity.
- In general, we encourage you to always scrutinize unknown or suspicious emails that you receive with attachments or with requests for sensitive details or money transfers. Scammers will mask their email domains to impersonate legitimate sources. If you are suspicious about an email you receive, then you can scroll over the email address to reveal the domain. An email from the Chamber should have the domain of @northcentralmass.com. When in doubt, call to confirm the legitimacy of the email you received.
We encourage you to continue to be alert and don’t fall for any scams that may compromise your business or personal information. For useful information regarding Coronavirus related scams, please visit the Federal Trade Commission, https://www.ftc.gov/.
*Affiliated organizations of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce include the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation; Johnny Appleseed Trail Association DBA Visit North Central Massachusetts; the North Central Chamber Foundation; and Chamber Insurance, Inc.