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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Nasty New Scam Calls Alert Google, Alexa And Siri Warning: Millions At Risk

Google, Alexa And Siri Warning: Millions At Risk From Nasty New Scam Calls
Another security issue has hit key voice assistants - and these producers are not recording our conversations at the moment. A new scam has been revealed, where fraudsters are lurking behind convenient auto-dial features by luring users into a trap. Fraudsters have realized that people search for businesses and then call them, all without looking at an online entry for the business. And it has opened up a big risk that those businesses are not what they might feel.

The scam works by paying online search engines to promote commercial listings, which then feature prominently when conducting a search. "Scammers are creating fake customer service numbers," the Better Business Bureau warns, "and they are bounced to the top of search results, often by paying for ads. When Siri, Alexa, or any other device does a voice search If done, the algorithm may be in error. Pick up the scam number. "

It turns out that as assistants we are not as good at spotting those fake ads and choosing an alternative. And we're not really that good. In June, I reported that "over 11 million false business messages could be delivered in plain site on Google Maps," essentially conducting the same scam.

"These scammers use a variety of deceptive technologies to run our system," said Ethan Russell, product director at Google Maps, which was accepted at the time. "As soon as we switch them off, they change their technique, and the cycle continues."

An investigation by the Wall Street Journal claimed that "hundreds of thousands of false lists were being spun off on Google Maps every month," with search queries "overrun with millions of false business addresses and fake names ... which Google Gives eagerness to appear — suggested local businesses.

The Google Maps scam usually focuses on important services - plumber, electrician, mechanics. These points were unfamiliar businesses where a high ranking list could boost consumer confidence. And now the voice assistant scam has managed to widen that trap, it does not need to defeat a visual search engine inspection, it depends on the AI ​​engine being cheated by prominence and keywords.

The Better Business Bureau warns that even reasonably legitimate, familiar businesses can be drawn into this voice assistant scam. "You need a phone number for a company, so you ask to find your home smart device and dial it for you. But when the company's 'representative' responds, it turns out That the company representative is' not at all. " "

If the scammer deceives a user into calling, they can charge for the ghost service or completely redirect the discussion. There is also a risk of fraudulent "may demand remote access to your computer or point you to an unfamiliar website." Two examples, cited by the "Ethical Marketplace", were a consumer who called an airline to change a reservation and was tricked into buying a "special promotion" gift card and another consumer called a helpline for a printer and Targeted by technical support scam.

Again, on topics similar to Google Maps where the search giant states that fraudsters "charge for services that are actually free, trick customers by presenting them as genuine businesses, and secure leads to real businesses And then impersonate them to sell. "

Unfortunately for voice assistant users, there is no clever advice to avoid such scams — that's the basics, I'm afraid. Check the numbers yourself, see the business to make sure the lists are accurate. And if you auto-dial, check for any indication that the call is not valid and hangs at the first sign of trouble. And certainly do not share any personal or financial information.

In 2018, Google Maps "took down more than 3 million fake business profiles." There are no statistics available specifically for voice assistants, but if it is a scam that works, it will scale quickly. And voice assistants are scaling themselves quickly, making it an ideal platform for fraudsters to do their job. Millions of you are still confident enough to plug these devices in and stay connected at home - you have been warned.

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