(August 20, 2019) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises against using the auto dial function of smart home devices when looking for a customer service number. The electronic assistants might leave their users with a phony customer service and non-recoverable payments.
There have been people reporting fake customer service representatives after using voice search on their smart device. The fraudulent agents tried to convince the individuals to pay for a service via prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, or gift cards. The BBB warns of scammers who create fake customer service numbers, which are pushed to the top of search results through ads. As soon as a so-called smart device – such as Google Home, Siri, or Alexa – is asked to do a voice search, the algorithm might pick the promoted scam number instead of the company’s official customer service number since it cannot distinguish between scams and legitimate sources.
To avoid this scam the BBB recommends to use the contact information on a bill, email, or business website when looking for support phone numbers. In addition, while using search engines, be aware of fake ads. The first hit might not always be the most appropriate source for information. Lastly, credit cards should be used to make payments since they are easier to dispute.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.