What do you do?
Well, how does anyone get the information we need these days? The Internet!
While the Internet is the most amazing tool to instantly get you all of the information you need, you have to always remember that there are individuals/organizations out there that use it for entirely nefarious reasons.
Basically, they want to trick you in any way they can to get your hard-earned dollar.
Let's see what we'd get if we were trying to get in contact with HP about that pesky printer.
As you can see, there are multiple results that don't link to Hewlett Packard's website, but give the reader the impression that they are legitimate and trustworthy. Google will try its best to suggest you the correct number, but the algorithm it uses is not reliable enough to trust.
The risk you inherit from not taking a few extra minutes is never worth it.
This is where the problem lies. Just from my 2 years of experience working here at Webroot, I can honestly not even tell you how many times I've heard first-hand from users that they tried searching for the phone number of:
Microsoft, HP, Dell, Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook. The list really could go on forever.
Soooo then what?
Well, you'll get in contact with a "gentleman" that doesn't speak English very well or even sound like he's on the same continent as you. He'll be very quick to tell you he can magically fix every last problem, but first you're going to have to pay the premium they ask for. Now in terms of what the price tag will be, I've heard anything from $99 to well up to or over $600.
Realistically, they're going to start as high as they can and go as low as it takes to have you bite. Super shady.
How do you avoid all of these shenanigans?
- Only contact phone numbers from the official website of the company you're looking for.
- Keep in mind that huge corporations like Facebook or Yahoo! don't have support numbers.
- Always trust your gut. If something seems off, hang up!