Smart assistants are integrating into all types of devices in our environment. And in fact they can become useful in many aspects. But it has been discovered that you can also get into trouble. If you ask one of these tools to call a phone number you can end up being a victim of a scam. And you won't know until it's too late.
This has been discovered at the Better Business Bureau, where they ask their readers to share the scams they have fallen into. Well, one of them has confirmed a scam in which he has fallen by searching and calling, by voice command to your shift assistant, the phone number of an airline. The problem is that he found a number of a scammer who tried to sell prepaid cards worth $ 400. Another user, according to the same publication, asked Siri to find him a phone number that ended up being that of a scammer who was posing as the technical service he wanted to contact.
How to scam an intelligent assistant
According to the Better Business Bureau scams of this type can be programmed. The trick is to impersonate an official number of some type of company or support. For this you only have to pay for advertising on Google and appear like this in the first search engine results.
With this, smart assistants will take advantage of this resource when asked for the telephone number of a certain company or support. They will look for the first result in the search engine and they will collect the data to make the call if we ask for it. Something that happens both in the Google Assistant and in Siri or Alexa. So no, none is scam free.
Once the phone number is being called the scam has already been carried out. Whether a high-charge telephone number or not, the assistant will call to establish a telephone communication. From here it only depends on the type of scam in question. It is usually a call in which they pose as the company in question in order to collect sensitive user data. Although they can also be sellers who try to scam with phone purchases when they get the user's bank details.
Here the common sense of the user should save the situation. Of course, if we have full confidence in the smart assistant, and if nothing tells us otherwise, it is difficult to know if the phone number called is official or not when it appears on Google.
How to avoid these scams
The recommendations of the Better Business Bureau to avoid such situations go through a thorough review of the search for the telephone number made by the intelligent assistant. For this it is recommended don't do an internet search, but use the reference of a ticket or the official website.
It is also recommended not to rely on advertisements for support or help phone numbers. In the same way, should find this information on the official website or other resources, not in a banner or advertising space on Google.
Finally, you should avoid giving sensitive data through phone calls. If it is a call to a mobile operator, a bank or any other issue where they already have our data, we shouldn't have to provide them again by phone. Even so, credit card payments can always be returned in case it is a scam. So it is better to offer this data in case it is strictly necessary.
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