back to article Best Buy and Geek Squad were most impersonated orgs by scammers in 2023

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shared data on the most impersonated companies in 2023, which include Best Buy, Amazon, and PayPal in the top three. The federal agency detailed the top ten companies scammers impersonate and how much they make depending on the impersonation. By far the most impersonated corp was Best Buy …

  1. Bendacious Bronze badge

    Simple rule for phone calls

    I have a simple rule for phone calls. If someone calls me, then I will never give them any personal information. I’ve had calls before from my phone supplier and my bank where I was almost certain it was them but I’m can’t go through their ‘security check’ because they called me. If it’s important then I call them back. Slightly inconvenient but security is the opposite of convenience.

    Just wish I had one simple rule I could pass to my elderly parents for email and social media.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Simple rule for phone calls

      My simple rule when I'm asked for personal information is to respond that if they want my personal information they need to focus ...

      Click on the link to hear the explanation, it's not heard as a joke by the scammers - they stop calling me, I've done this for years and get very few junk calls now.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Simple rule for phone calls

        Slightly amused that the preroll adverts were both scams.

        But mostly disappointed.

    2. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Simple rule for phone calls

      This is uk specific but my mum has a phone with call guardian built in.

      If the number has a cli of unknown / withheld or is not in the contact list on the phone you need to press 1 to be put through and state the name. Typically 20 calls a week get blocked by it.

      The recipient can choose to accept the call or not.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Simple rule for phone calls

      I have an even simpler rule: no caller ID, or I don't recognized the name. Do not answer.

  2. RM Myers

    Impersonated by scammers?

    I'm confused. Based on all the complaints about the Geek Squad on the internet, I assumed they were the scammers. Does this mean we now have scammers posing as scammers, i.e., recursive scamming? The mind boggles!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Publishers Clearinghouse

    One day I got a call from Publisher Clearinghouse. They said I won a "big prize" (and I think thry gave me a number to call them back. Too long ago to be sure on the number.)

    Well had played PCH* for awhile and knew they don't call you if you win. They bring flowers and the big check to your door unannounced. Or if it's a small, >$600, win they mail it to you with postal mail.

    Their rules say they never call. I looked and they don't even ask for your phone number when you sign up, so they can't call you.

    I quit playing them because I never won a penny over the 1-2 years I did play.

    *Anonymons because I'm admitting I played thier games and entered theirs contests. Your odds of winning are 10 to 100 worst than playing the lottery. You can enter lots of contests per day. They don't cost anything, but your time. Lots of time if you play much due to lots of ads and offers to buy cheap stuff for not so cheap prices.

    I don't recomend them. Especially if you click links impulsively or buy stuff in ads impulsively.

  4. Tron Silver badge

    Cracking tips.

    Put a note by the landline of elderly parents reading 'No Thank You', encouraging them to consider every call from someone they do not know to be a scam call by default and to say it - and then to put the phone straight down. If it is real and important, someone will send a letter. Older people consider it to be impolite and may be lonely, but they really need to put the phone straight down and not begin a conversation with the caller - conning people is a scammer's vocation and they are very good at it.

    Only answer the door to family, friends, neighbours, people you are expecting, the postie and delivery folks. Just ignore anyone else. Don't even answer the door. If an elderly relative cannot see a caller from inside, install a mirror or a very basic door cam - not something complicated requiring a subscription and apps.

    Any automated phone call from a bank is fake. They have to securely ID you before speaking to you about your account.

    You will never get a genuine call from any global corporation, or from the Prime Minister/President, or Madonna. So if they say they are from Microsoft or Google or whomever, just put the phone down.

    Never click on any advert on the internet. No problem reading them, but if you are interested in a product, check it out on Amazon or ebay. That doesn't invalidate online advertising, it just makes it safe.

    Never click on a link in an e-mail. Go to the site. My bank sends me e-mails. It really shouldn't. E-mails are not secure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cracking tips.

      But Madonna calls me every day with some investment advice.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Cracking tips.

        Let me guess, she tells you to leave the church pulpit and go into the record business?

        “Papa Don’t Preach, Get Into The Groove” ?

        At least it’s not a political spam call urging you to be “True Blue”.

  5. Tron Silver badge

    Captain's Log, Supplemental.

    The digital push is really harmful to older people. In rural areas especially, and with housebound pensioners, the only way they can access their cash or allow people to buy stuff for them is to give them their debit card to use at ATMs.

    There is no point in banning this or telling people not to do it, as they have no real alternative.

    The only protection they have is a paper bank statement.

    Banks want to stop sending these out 'on environmental grounds'. As if any banks give two shits about the rain forest. It is just to save cash for their bonuses.

    Make sure your elderly parents get paper bank statements by post. Watch out for sneaky tricks: My bank switched me away from them because it 'couldn't print them' for a while. BS. I've switched them back.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    If only

    the telecoms stopped allowing callerID spoofing......

    But then they'd lose money

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Geek Squad?

    They've been impersonating their pre-2002 selves for decades.

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