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Scammers reportedly targeting smart streaming devices

Ways to protect your smart devices and red flags for being scammed
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:56 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - If you recently bought or installed a smart streaming device like Roku or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Rania Mankarious, the CEO of Crimestoppers in Houston, Texas said scammers are able to get into the devices through your home’s WiFi, prompting people to pay fake activation fees.

“They figured out ways to create error messages that show up when people are downloading these devices that say, ‘look you’re almost complete. You’re almost done with your installation. You need to call this number to finish the installation'. And low and behold someone is saying, ‘yeah there’s actually a fee'.”said Mankarious

Mankarious says scammers have charged anywhere between $75 to $150 for these fake activation fees. She says it’s important to remember there’s never a fee for installing the Roku or Firestick device. Just pay for the streaming services you download.

“You don’t have to pay for anything when it comes to setting these devices up or downloading software and getting technical support. If you notice anything, make a report, and contact the FTC, they are looking at these crimes.” said Mankarious

She says to prevent this from happening, you should make sure your WiFi network is secure, and to also change any default passwords.

You can also make sure to keep billing for streaming services on separate credit cards to better spot out fraudulent charges.

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