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Scammers Fool Alexa, Siri to Dial Fake Customer-Support Numbers

(Image credit: Future)

Voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are prone to calling scammer phone numbers when asked auto-dial queries, according to a warning from the Better Business Bureau.

While Alexa is great for finding out the weather and Google Assistant functions as an excellent smart home operator, think twice about asking your voice assistants to call a customer-service number on your behalf.

Scammers create fraudulent business phone numbers and bump them up in corresponding search results, said the BBB. This can cause virtual assistants that operate on algorithms to dial up bad actors by accident.

When the "representative" answers, the scam ensues. The con artist on the line might ask for wire-transfer payments, remote access to your computer or personal information. 

One victim told BBB that their voice assistant connected them to a fake customer-service line for an airline. The scammer on the other end demanded $400 in pre-paid gift cards to change the caller's seat on an upcoming flight. 

It's frustrating enough receiving robocalls every day — wrongly initiating them opens a new door for scammers to get cute with their game. 

The BBB recommends refraining from using voice assistants to auto dial anyone or anyplace that isn't in your saved contacts. Look up customer-service numbers directly from a company's website. And if you're making a payment over the phone, use a credit card instead a gift card — only one lets you easily reverse charges.