PSA: Don’t use your voice assistant to ask for customer service numbers, you might get a scammer
We probably deserve this.
If you ask your voice assistant for a customer support number, you’d expect that number to be correct. That’s not always the case, with a new scam going around, leveraging your favorite voice assistants to lure you in.
The Better Business Bureau has the skinny, with the TL;DR version being that scammers are putting fake customer support numbers onto the internet, which then get indexed by the voice assistants for returning as answers.
Scammers are using voice assistants to lure you in
The new scam works like this: Scammers manipulate search engines to get their fake, scammy, phone numbers listed in voice assistants instead of the actual company’s phone number.
Asking your voice assistant for customer service numbers gives you the bad number, which you then unwittingly call, thinking it’s the official company. Once you’re on the line, the scammers try to get you to do everything from buying gift cards to installing malware on your PC.
To avoid these types of scams, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
- Look for support numbers on the company’s website instead
- Use your credit card for any payments, as that will protect you more than using a debit card
- Don’t pay for anything via wire transfer or debit cards
- Don’t let anyone have remote access to your computer
- Don’t go to any unfamiliar websites that the customer support agent asks you to navigate to
As will all scams, the more you know, the more you are protected. Next time you decide to ask Alexa for a customer support number, do the legwork yourself on the company site.
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