The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been around for so long that many people think it is a government agency. However it is NOT related to the government in any way and it a private non-profit organization.

Many advertisements you see might show the BBB logo as proof that they are a trusted business. Over the years, they have symbolized a watchdog agency that stands for consumer’s rights and honesty in business. Companies always want to get a good rating from them because it increases their trustworthiness in the eyes of customers.

However, just because you see a BBB logo on an advertisement doesn’t necessarily mean they should be trusted. Now days with the Internet, advertisers tying to sell you information on grants, loans, debt relief, and all sorts of other things try to trick you into believing they can be trusted by showing the “As seen on” logos from CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, as well as the BBB logo which they might have just copied and pasted to their website. Always click on the logo to make sure it takes you to the Better Business Bureau website where you can see the companies grade.

Most disturbing of all though, are the claims that the BBB is requiring money in exchange for the good grades they are giving out. The 20/20 video exposes some very troubling issues with them and shows how in some cases, good grades from the BBB were gotten by business who paid money for those grades. Obviously, if you need to pay money to get an A grade from the Better Business Bureau, that grade is meaningless and can’t be trusted.

What this means is that whenever you see the BBB logo on a website or advertisement, understand that you should not automatically assume that it can be trusted. Do some more research first to verify the BBB grade and search online for more information about the company BEFORE you give them your credit card.