Scammers are taking advantage of Google, Apple and other voice assistants calling feature to prey on vulnerable users. With these new assistants, users can contact customer representatives simply by speaking into their devices. The alarm was raised by the Better Business Bureau this past week.
“You need the phone number for a company, so you ask your home’s smart device – such as Google Home, Siri, or Alexa – to find and dial it for you. But when the company’s “representative” answers, the conversation takes a strange turn. This representative has some odd advice! They may insist on your paying by wire transfer or prepaid debit card. In other cases, they may demand remote access to your computer or point you to an unfamiliar website,” The BBB explained. “Turns out, that this “representative” isn’t from the company at all. Scammers create fake customer service numbers and bump them to the top of search results, often by paying for ads. When Siri, Alexa, or another device does a voice search, the algorithm may accidentally pick a scam number.”
The best way to avoid this scam is to simply exercise caution. When calling a customer support line for a bank or financial institution, find the number on the official site and dial that. While Google Assistant may be helpful, and resolving any scams might be frictionless, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.