There are few things more frustrating than when you tuck in to stream your favorite show with a bowl of popcorn and you run into connectivity issues. Buffering is one of the biggest mood killers and can undoubtedly ruin what was supposed to be a relaxing evening.
But all isn’t lost, though. A helpful popup on the screen could explain why it is happening. Unfortunately, depending on the device you are using, you might not be able to click on the informational bubble.
What’s the next best thing to do? Of course, most people will turn to a quick search online to troubleshoot the problem. Unfortunately, that is what scammers are counting on. Read on to see how scammers are trying to rip you off using connectivity issues.
Here’s the backstory
Whether it is the stability of your internet or an issue with Amazon Prime’s servers, we can all agree that spotty streaming and buffering content is the worst. The dreaded “There’s an Internet connection problem” is enough to make anyone call it a night.
But refusing to give up, many will search online for help. Instead of navigating directly to www.amazon.com/videohelp, some might enter the URL as a search query or Google the connectivity problem.
That is where scammers are waiting for you. By creating a spoofed Prive Video site and optimizing it for better search visibility, the page could be the first result you see.
This scheme is so convincing most anyone could fall for it. Once you make it to the spoofed site, there is a box to register your compatible TV or device. In addition, there is a toll-free telephone number you can call for technical support.
If buffering is your concern, you reach for the phone and start dialing. The helpful voice on the other end explains that you must subscribe to a new plan to activate Prime Video. It will cost you $699 for the lifetime package, and you must use PayPal as the payment method.
But this is all bogus. Amazon doesn’t offer a lifetime subscription. Moreover, a scam victim who spoke to Mashable said the payment confirmation email came from Amazonvideo[at]gmail.com, raising their suspicion.
To no surprise, after the victim paid the $699, they were no closer to solving their problem. “Once the victim sees that their payment does not fix their issue, they contacted PayPal and their credit card company, finally realizing they were scammed,” Mashable explained.
What you can do about it
The most important thing to do to be safe in a scenario like this is to type the official URL for technical support into your web browser. For Prime Video, the URL is www.amazon.com/videohelp. Don’t search for the link online.
Here are some more safety tips:
- Always check the URL – When visiting any website, verify that the web address is legitimate before inputting any details. Look for odd characters in the URL. If it doesn’t look official, run.
- Only call known numbers – If you need to contact customer service, only dial numbers found on the official website. Don’t blindly trust that a number displayed on a search result or social media is authentic.
- Safeguard personal information – Never hand over personal details if you aren’t sure you’re speaking to an official representative. Also, never pay for services or goods with gift cards or wire transfers.
- Watch for spelling and grammar – An obvious red flag is grammar or spelling issues on spoofed websites. Pay close attention to the wording and check for anything suspicious.