How Scammers Now Target Streaming TV Customers

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Scammers will stop at nothing to swindle us — including invading our couch time.

TVs are just another internet-connected device that can be used to rip you off, according to a new warning from, a project of the National Consumers League:

“The scam works like this: When connecting a smart TV to a streaming service like Hulu, Netflix, or HBOMax, consumers are often required to go to an activation URL (e.g. on their smartphone or computer. Once there, they are usually required to enter the code that appears on their smart TV to link the device to a streaming account.”

Scammers use the tried-and-tested tactic of closely mimicking a real company’s website, with as little as a one-letter difference from the real thing, to lure people into entering their credentials or credit card information.

Worse, they may ask consumers to pay an “activation fee” — something that notes streaming services typically do not charge.

The best way to avoid this scam is to double-check the web address of any website where you’re asked to enter information. Also, avoid doing an internet search for the activation website since scammers have been known to buy ads with bogus activation links that will appear high in the search results.

TVs are the latest in a wave of recent tech scams. Check out “FBI Warns of a Growing Scam That Hijacks Your Phone” for another growing threat.

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