Scammers Are Targeting Cord Cutters. Know How To Keep Yourself Safe





Stressed woman looking at papers

It’s difficult enough to cancel a service when companies are trying their hardest to keep you subscribed with tricky wording, barely visible unsubscribe buttons and troublesome cancellation processes. The last thing you need is a scammer sneaking into the middle of the process to drain your bank account.

If you’re ready to call it quits or make changes to a subscription service — streaming or otherwise — it’s important to make sure you’re communicating with the right people. Scammers can take advantage of customers eager to free up their finances by ploying them with promises of hassle-free, quick cancellations. It’s a pervasive problem that cost consumers upwards of $330 million last year, according to estimates from the Federal Communications Commission.

Increasingly, scammers are targeting cord cutters by putting fake customer service phone numbers online. Cord cutters searching for how to call popular services like Netflix, Fubo, and more are not finding the phone number to the service but a scammer’s number. From there, the scammers try to charge them for customer service or get them to sign up for services they don’t need.

If you want to cancel or make changes to a subscription, make sure you’re getting the information directly from the company’s website. This might seem like a given, but phony websites can look pretty real. Instead of Googling how to cancel the subscription, visit the provider’s website and search for its FAQ. This also goes for finding a company’s customer service number. Scammers can pose as customer service representatives to steal your credit card information.

It’s also beneficial to familiarize yourself with phishing scams. Bad actors will use email or text messages with cleverly worded requests designed to get you to respond with your personal information. These messages often try to convince you that your payment method failed or your account is compromised — an ask you to click a link to fix it. Do not click the link — even if it sounds urgent.

Scammers use manipulation tactics that prey on your emotions, and have gotten increasingly good at it over the years. If you’re uncertain about the status of your account — check your account through the service’s website.

If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, you can report it to the FCC or file an informal complaint.

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