TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Just when you thought you could decline suspicious numbers to avoid interacting with scammers, they've found a new trick. Now they're able to get you to call them.
The Better Business Bureau is advising people to stop asking their smart devices, like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, to look up phone numbers.
According to the BBB, smart devices don't always dial a company's official number. Instead, it dials whatever number is highest on the search results, which can be manipulated with advertising campaigns and algorithms.
Consumer experts warn that scammers have caught on and have managed to bump their fake customer service numbers to the top of the search engine's list.
Jacob Lott, of Tampa Computer Doctors, says this is especially common when people look up tech support numbers.
"You get dependent on these [smart] devices, and when you get dependent on them, any flaws in them, someone that's looking to be malicious will find a way to extort it and take people's money," said Lott.
The BBB recommends looking up a company's number yourself instead of using voice search. When talking to a representative, listen for keywords that may suggest it's a scammer, including any mention of pre-paid gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, or wire transfers.
Lastly, if you make a payment, use a credit card because it's easier to dispute.