Over the past year, tech support scammers have been using Spotify forums to funnel users to their fraudulent pages instead of the official forum. The scammers are placing their phone numbers onto the first page of Google & Bing search results which result in Spotify users contacting them instead of real tech support. Once a consumer calls the fake numbers, they’re convinced to purchase unnecessary services and software.
The tech support scams posted to Spotify simulate organizations such as Amazon, McAfee, Apple, Microsoft, Norton and more. McAfee is attributing the high volume of scammers on the forum to the fact that Spotify does not require email verification before posting, thus allowing anyone to post. They also utilize Google’s reCAPTCHA service – a system designed to establish that a computer user is human – but unfortunately, this can be bypassed by automated tools. Thankfully, Spotify has acknowledged that they are aware of the problem, however, it has yet to be resolved.
If you have fallen victim to a tech support scam, follow these tips from the Federal Trade Commission:
- “Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
- Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.
- If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to gov/complaint.”
- If you’ve given remote access to your computer, take it to a computer professional to clean your computer of malware or other malicious programs.
If you are unsure of a phone number, visit the company’s official website before calling. Most companies will have a “Contact Us” page that list all the ways a consumer can contact them.