COLORADO SPRINGS — News5 is watching out for your money. If you aren't careful using a Google search, Alexa, or Siri to find customer service phone numbers could connect you with impostors. The Better Business Bureau says scams have been happening when people ask their device to look up a phone number. Every now and then, the algorithm on the devices may pick up a scam number. That's usually because scammers are able to figure out search engine techniques so they show up among the top results. Unable to spot red flags, consumers trusting a google search, or virtual assistant end up on the line with a fraudster posing as a customer service agent.
Once you're on the phone with a scammer they'll likely try to convince you to send them money for special promotions. Other times they may ask you to hand over private information. While it may be easier to use your virtual assistant to look up a phone number or website the Better Business Bureau says it's important to look up contact information, yourself.
"I think absolutely there are consumers who are accidentally of course reaching out to scammers and going to them when they aren't going through the company websites, or ensuring they have the right number before speaking to someone and so yeah it gets even riskier because it's a two way street unfortunately," said Adah Rodriguez of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
While you should always be cautious of paying for a service in this situation, if you do, make sure to use your credit card. Most credit card companies do provide some fraud protection. You won't be able to get your money back if you pay with a prepaid gift card or wire transfer.
So the best advice when it comes to contacting customer service for any company. First, look up the information yourself. It is best to get it from a bill or confirmation email. If all else fails, go to the official website of the company.
If you believe you've fallen victim to a customer service impostor scam you can report it here: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/