Business Owner Calls Award Program a 'Scam'

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

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By Forrest Saunders

HIAWATHA, Iowa - A Hiawatha woman thought she was being recognized by the city for her local business. But, after some research, she now thinks it’s a scam.

Jennifer Goodlove, owner of Farmer’s Daughter’s Market, recently received three emails from a group called Hiawatha Business Recognition. Goodlove said the emails looked like they came from a Hiawatha city official, claiming her business had been selected for the “2013 Best of Hiawatha Awards” for Grocery Stores.

A link inside the emails led Goodlove to a website where she was offered to pick a plaque or crystal piece to commemorate her selection. However, she had to buy the award herself. The cheapest being about $80.

Goodlove was skeptical and contacted the city, who told her they've never heard of the group.

“This is still happening. It’s been going on this year, three times now. They’re obviously thinking someday you’re going to be dumb enough to buy it,” said Goodlove.

The “About Us” section on the award group’s website said they were established to “recognize the best of local businesses in our community.” And that their mission is to “recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.”

You can check it out for yourself, here: http://hiawatha.veraxio.net/AboutUsUb.aspx?

KCRG called the 800 number associated with the email and was sent to voicemail.

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