WEST MICHIGAN -- We often warn you about whose phone calls you answer, but now the Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert about the numbers you dial. The organization said the customer service line you found online may be a trap.
The problem: phony online advertisements and/or fake websites pretending to belong to a legitimate company.
The BBB said if those toll free numbers are fake, the person on the other end of the line will try to talk you into giving out your personal information. If you’re getting help with a computer problem the fraudster might attempt to gain remote access to your system. From there, they can access your information or install malware.
The purpose of the scheme varies, but the BBB said the bottom line is to be sure of who you’re calling.
"Always reach out to the actual source. Look for the url to be something that you actually know and recognize that aren't one-offs like appleinc.com or something like that," John Masterson with the BBB said.
He added, "Also be aware of free opportunities or "free opportunities" that kind of lead into a sales pitch or probing for information."
The BBB has a feature on its website called the scam tracker where you can report schemes you come across which help keep track of trends and keep the public informed.