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Public warned of tech device activation scams

By Staff | Oct 23, 2019

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of a new scheme where scam artists charge activation fees for tech devices that are free to set up.

Recent Better Business Bureau reports show that after purchasing electronic devices, such as an Alexa, Roku or Google Home that needs to be activated, consumers may be misled to a fraudulent activation Web site directing them to pay up to $100 to “activate” the device. The process may allow scammers to steal money, credit card numbers and/or personal information.

The following are tips to avoid device activation scams:

– Do not give out your personal information. Scammers prey on you by gathering your personal information. It is important to never give out personal data to people or businesses you do not know.

– Beware of suspicious links. Be cautious of links in emails or when browsing the Web. Secure Web sites will most likely have the padlock icon in the search window.

– Avoid prepaid debit or gift card payments. Legitimate companies will never ask you to pay with a prepaid card. Money sent this way cannot be recovered. When in doubt, report the company to FraudFreeFlorida.com.