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  • Geebo 8:01 am on April 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activation fee, , , Hulu, , Roku, , ,   

    Streaming devices are vulnerable to scam 

    Streaming devices are vulnerable to scam

    By Greg Collier

    In case you’re not familiar with Roku TV, it’s a device or service that comes with your TV that allows you to access multiple streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and the like. There are other brands of streaming devices, but Roku is the most popular one with consumers. And like most internet-connected devices, they are vulnerable to attacks and scams. Recently, there seems to be a string of attacks happening to new device owners that is costing them a lot of money. It’s known as the activation scam.

    One victim who spoke to the media said she was setting up her Roku device when a message flashed on her TV screen. It told her to call a customer service number to help with the activation. The woman called the number and the person who was supposedly helping her with the activation sold her a year’s service plan for close to $200. A short time later, the customer service agent called back demanding more money or her service would be shut off. It was at this point the victim realized she had been scammed.

    If you buy a Roku or any other streaming device, there is no monthly fees to use these devices. Instead, you pay to whatever streaming service you want to subscribe to. Roku does not offer a service plan. You can elect to buy a program like that at the point of purchase like Walmart or Best Buy.

    So, how does a scam like this happen on a streaming box? From everything we’ve researched it happens when the user goes to a phony activation website. Anybody can make a website that says ‘Roku Activation Help’. That’s when the phony customer service or activation number comes up. In the user guide to most streaming boxes it will give you the authentic website to use for help and activation. If you just do a web search for activation you could be led to a scam site that could cost you time and money.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activation fee, , , ,   

    Ok Google (or Alexa), download some malware 

    Ok Google (or Alexa), download some malware

    The Better Business Bureau is warning about a scam that inevitably increases this time of year. If you received a new device like a Google Home or Amazon Echo for the holidays, you may want to be careful about how you activate the device. A number of scams are designed around these devices that can either cost you money or hijack your device. If you’re having trouble with the initial setup of the device, be careful how you proceed when it comes to contacting customer service. Some tech support avenues could lead you to have a device of disappointment.

    When activating your new device, you want to try to avoid phony customer service numbers. Many times, the first number you see on a web search for customer service may not be the official one. Instead, you could be talking with some unauthorized third-party service that may try to charge you for activating your device. Most devices should be activated for free once the purchase price for the device has been paid. Or, these scammers could be trying to get you to install malware on your new device that could lead to an invasion of your privacy.

    It doesn’t take much for a scammer to set themselves up on a web search page by purchasing a sponsored link. This could easily list them above the legitimate company on search results. The BBB recommends keeping a lookout for things like if the web address is misspelled or the website itself uses poor grammar. These are likely indicators that the information they’re providing you is false. You should also avoid apps that claim to be activation apps for your new device as these have also been used in the past to try to obtain personal information.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: activation fee, , , , , , , , virtual assistant,   

    Beware the activation fee scam for new devices 

    Beware the activation fee scam for new devices

    In the past, we’ve discussed a couple of scams that could affect new owners of such devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. The first was using unofficial apps to help you get your device activated. The second was using your virtual assistant to look up phone numbers for you which could result in being connected to scammers posing as services you may not use that often. Now, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting a new scam that could affect new owners of these devices and this scam could cost users money.

    This new scam kind of resembles the unofficial app scam. The difference with this scam is with fake phone numbers posing as technical support for many of these devices. If someone were to do a web search looking for a technical support number for one of these devices the number that appears may not be that of the company who made the device. Instead, it may belong to scammers who are going to try to get you to pay an ‘activation fee’ while posing as companies like Amazon and Google. This scam not only applies to devices like this but to many other services as well such as anti-virus and printer support just to name a few.

    If you have technical trouble setting up any kind of device or service it is always recommended that you go to the manufacturer’s or distributor’s website to locate the proper customer service number. Scammers will use search engine optimization (SEO) tricks to try to get their phony number listed first on search engines even above those of the legitimate manufacturer’s. Also beware of any technical support that tries to get you to pay for their service using gift cards, prepaid debit cars, or money transfers. That is guaranteed to be part of a scam as once the money is paid, it will be next to impossible to recover from a scam artist.

     
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