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MEGilbert
Level 7

Roku Amazon Prime Video Scam

I just received a Roku Express yesterday.  When I attempted to link my Prime Video with the Roku I was instructed to call a 1-800-511-1221.  I reached a person who said she was going to help me.  She represented herself as a Prime Video support tech.  She then asked if I would like to sign up to have Prime on 5 devices and also pay $149 for 2 years of Prime.  It sounded legit and would be cheaper than my annual fee with Amazon.  Unfortunately I fell for it and am now out $149 for nothing.  I reported the scam to Paypal and am hoping to get reimbursed.  BEWARE!  I'm wondering about Roku's involvement since the #  came up on the Roku screen?

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4 Replies
Strega
Level 12

Re: Roku Amazon Prime Video Scam

The way these happen is:

The service (Amazon etc.) tells you to go to a URL and enter a code.  When they do this, they expect you to do exactly that. However, quite a few people don't.  There are many ways to go wrong on this, including:

Type the URL incorrectly.  Just look at the way there are 50+ ways to spell Roku on a Roku forum - mis-typing is easy. Or:

Enter the URL into a search field instead of a URL field.  (Some people don't know the difference, some people do but occasionally goof.) Or:

As you are typing, your browser is set to offer search suggestions, and you click on one of those instead of continuing to type.

Then, once you get there, you don't look at the URL field to make sure that it actually points to a domain for the service that you are trying to link to.

Once at one of these fake sites, they tell you you have to call so they can size you up and see how much they can get out of you.  These sites are often Advertised sites (ie: they pay to be ranked highly) - especially if google is your search engine of choice. (Bing was MUCH "cleaner" last time I checked.)

MEGilbert
Level 7

Re: Roku Amazon Prime Video Scam

Fortunately I received a reimbursement.   I hope these scammers get caught and punished severely!  I'm normally an uber cautious and suspicious person but these clever a-holes managed to reel me in!

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Strega
Level 12

Re: Roku Amazon Prime Video Scam

Unfortunately, in our highly connected world, these scammers are typically in other countries using prepaid cell phones and can be hard to track.  Many of them learned to speak well to Americans while working in call centers, which US companies moved there for the low wages. 

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atc98092
Level 21

Re: Roku Amazon Prime Video Scam

Yes, the odds of them getting caught is pretty slim. While Roku has worked with the search engines (Google and Bing) to remove the scam sites, they simply wait a bit and create new ones. And they've also branched out to intercept other services, such as you encountered with Prime Video. 

I moderate a couple of other forum sites, and the past month or so has seen a huge increase in spam posts. It is those spam posts that cause those bogus sites to rise up in the search engine lists. They seem to go in cycles, and I don't think the current cycle has peaked yet. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.