Caution: Your smart device may not be so smart when it comes to scam

Supported By:

Net Patrol International Inc.  Data Investigation and Forensic Services
Bankruptcy and Insolvency Trustees

(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.