Voice assistant scams | What the Tech?
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — In terms of scams, this is a wild one as it involves fake phone numbers, fake companies, web searches and Siri.
Here’s how the voice assistant scam reportedly works:
When someone asks Siri to call a number, like customer service, scammers trick them into dialing a fake number instead — the number of the scammer.
An alleged victim reported to the Better Business Bureau when they asked Siri to call United Airlines. Someone answered but it wasn’t the airlines. Instead, it was an agent pretending to be with United asking for $125 to cancel a flight.
Another alleged victim said they asked Siri to contact Roku about setting up the device. Instead, someone pretending to be from Roku charged an $80 activation fee.
So how do the scammers pull this off? They set up fake customer service numbers and promoted them to the top of search results.
When a voice assistant searches the web for a number, they deliver the top search result: the fake number.
Protect yourself by:
- Don’t trust a voice assistant to get it right
- Don’t assume when you search the web for a phone number that the first result is the legitimate company
- Don’t be quick to give anyone a credit card number or personal information over the phone.
- Never use a debit card. It’s easier to dispute a charge when using a credit card or PayPal
The BBB says to be aware of this. If you ever suspect you’re a victim, you should report it to them and the FCC. You should also report this voice assistant scam to the state attorney general’s office.
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