GARLAND, Texas – The Better Business Bureau is warning the public about a tech company that has allegedly misled people into paying unnecessary fees to activate their Roku streaming devices or smart TVs.
Wednesday, the BBB said CaliGeeks, Inc.’s scheme has affected customers from over 25 states in the U.S. and the company has received at least 45 complaints in the last year.
Customers told the BBB that they were directed to call CaliGeeks after seeing an error message while attempting to activate their Roko devices. Once customers called the company, they say representatives posed as authorized agents or Roku employees and charged the consumers anywhere from $79.99 to $249.99 to activate their Roku device.
Roku has confirmed on its website that there is no activation fee to enable its devices. The company says any sites that claim they can access your Roku remotely or through your computer are fraudulent and are seeking to access personal information.
“Nevertheless, many consumers do not realize that additional charges for setup are misleading, until it is too late,” wrote the BBB.
If customers questioned the fee, they said they were provided reasons why it was required. Reasons reportedly included a new law, new policy by Roku, or the device would not work without the intervention.
The BBB is also warning the public not to underestimate the potential for malware to be installed on your devices. One complainant claimed CaliGeeks created a virus that cost an additional $300 to correct.
The BBB provided the following tips for those who have paid a third-party to activate or access their Roku streaming device:
· If you see an error message, make sure that you are calling Roku and work with them directly
· If you believe that you have interacted with a fraudulent website, email Roku (email@example.com)
· Call your credit card company to request that charges be reversed
· Check you bank and credit card statements for inaccuracies
· Remove any software that the third-party may have installed on your devices and run a malware scan
· Change any passwords for programs that you used on these devices, including the password to access your Roku.com account
· File a complaint with Better Business Bureau to alert BBB of the occurrence
· File a complaint with Federal Trade Commission