Need help with your Netflix account? Make sure you have the right number to call.
The Better Business Bureau recently warned Netflix users that searching for a Netflix customer support number online might lead to some nefarious results.
Some legitimate-looking customer service phone numbers really belong to scam artists.
When a Netflix user calls one of these numbers, the scammer (posing as a Netflix “representative”) informs the user that his or her account was hacked. The scammer then requests access to the Netflix user’s computer to “fix the problem.”
Falling for this scam opens the door to identity theft. To avoid this and other similar tech support scams, look out for the red flags:
Someone Called You
Your phone rings, you pick it up and a person tells you that your computer is infected. This person might even tell you he or she is from Microsoft, Apple or another company name you recognize.
Hang up! No tech support agent from Microsoft, Apple, or any other company will call you out of the blue to tell you something is wrong with your computer, unless you contacted them first and asked for a call back.
But The Caller ID Says “Microsoft” Or “Apple,” You Say?
That doesn’t matter. These companies, and other tech support teams, still won’t proactively call you. In a practice called spoofing, a scammer deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise his or her identity.
The “Tech Company Representative” is Convincing
The scammer who calls you will do his or her best to fool you. You might be told your computer is sending out viruses, your system is infected with malware or your files are showing a problem.
This person will use a lot of technical jargon to try to confuse you. The scammer’s goal is to instill fear to ensure that you do whatever he or she suggests.
Again, hang up!
You Get A Pop-Up On Your Computer
Out of nowhere a pop-up on your computer notifies you a “threat was detected” or “suspicious activity has been detected on your computer.” The message provides a legitimate-looking, toll-free phone number to call.
If you call this number, you’ll find yourself speaking with the same type of scammer we described above. This person will either try to get you to pay for some fake security service, or worse, infect your computer with real malware.
To avoid falling for the pop-up scam tactic, do not click on any links in a pop-up and do not call the number displayed.
Don’t Be Tech Support Scam Prey
Bad Internet security habits may lead you straight to one of these tech support scammers.
Here are a few tips to help keep them from preying on you in the first place:
Secure your computer with firewall and anti-virus software.
Never give out your passwords. In fact, you should have a password manager, which creates unbreakable passwords and safely encrypts them.
Safeguard your phone number. Never give it out to someone who randomly calls you.
Update your browser, or you could be surfing the web like a swimmer with sharks.
Lastly, when you do need technical support, go directly to the company or service’s website to find a number to call.