AG warns of hackers accessing information through smart televisions
Attorney General Ashley Moody is continuing the Summer Scams Series with a warning about an emerging smart TV scam.
In this new scheme, fraudsters attempt to gain remote access to a target’s smart TV to steal personal or financial information. The Better Business Bureau warns of an increase in reports of scammers catching people off guard with fraudulent pop-ups on smart TVs. The pop-ups trick users into downloading malware, paying a fake fee or even giving away sensitive information.
“Devices connected to the internet can be used by scammers to rip off unsuspecting consumers,” Moody said. “Smart TVs are no exception. These devices access the internet to stream content or allow users to search the web. That means hackers can use your TV to send phishing messages, tech-support ads, or even fake bills for services. If you receive a suspicious message on your TV, do not respond. Instead, do some research and contact your service provider directly.”
The scheme often starts with a pop-up appearing on a smart TV, with instructions to call a tech-support phone number or visit a website to fix an issue. However, this information is fake — the scammer is trying to gain remote access to your TV to install malware or steal personal information.
To help Floridians avoid falling for this scheme, Attorney General Moody is sharing the following tips:
- Update smart TV software regularly to ensure the latest security features are in use;
- Avoid visiting websites listed in pop-up ads;
- Research the correct phone number for a streaming service or TV manufacturer before calling;
- Verify through a legitimate service any potential late fees rather than trusting a pop-up ad;
- Never let unknown individuals have remote access; and
- Use different passwords on all accounts in case an information leak occurs, prohibiting scammers from gaining access to other accounts.
Victims of cybercrimes should report incidents to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Computer Crime Center.
To find more alerts on how to protect data and stay safe online, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.