Clever scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists, are increasingly setting up phony websites that appear to be for customer service or tech support of many of the companies with which we regularly do business. They also purchase telephone numbers that are a single digit off of the legitimate phone numbers for many companies’ tech support or customer support in order to take advantage of common consumer misdials. Compounding the problem is the fact that many companies, particularly social media companies, do not provide a customer service telephone number to call and speak to a real person about your problem. They only provide online support.
Also making the problem worse is that many scammers are adept at manipulating the algorithms used by Google and other search engines so that their phony websites containing bogus customer service telephone numbers may appear high in a search engine search.
In 2020 Dr. Melanye Maclin of Maryland needed help with her Facebook account and obtained what she thought was the phone number for tech support for Facebook which she got from a posting on Facebook’s Help Community Chat board. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t have a tech support phone number. The phony tech support number on the chat board was posted by a scammer. When Dr. Maclin called the phony number, she was instructed by the scammer to enable remote access to her phone which Dr. Maclin did. Unfortunately, this led to the scammers gaining access to her CashApp account through which the scammers stole $6,332.
The best place to look for a telephone number for customer support or tech support is right on your bill or the legitimate website of the company. Even when you do call legitimate tech support or customer service telephone numbers take extra care to make sure that you are dialing correctly and not calling a clever scammer who may have purchased a telephone number that is a digit off of the correct phone number in an attempt to ensnare people who may misdial the number.
Among the social media services that do not provide tech support by phone are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Here are links to tech support for those social media services:
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive free daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and type in your email address on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”