BBB warns of scam targeting people with Roku devices

One of the victims is a local woman.
BBB: Customers in 25 states allege Roku scam
Updated: May. 15, 2020 at 5:38 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Better Business Bureau is warning about a scam targeting people with Roku devices.

People in 25 different states, including Ohio and Kentucky, have alleged a Texas based company called CaliGeeks, Inc., is charging them a fee to activate their Roku Device, according to the BBB.

Now, the BBB has launched an investigation and warning everyone to be aware.

Sarah Harris of Cincinnati purchased a new smart TV for her father earlier this year.

She said a weird message popped up when she went to set up Roku.

Harris said she was almost finished with the installation when the message appeared.

“I got a screen on there that stated that I had to call this number to finish the installation, which I thought was weird," Harris said. "So I ended up calling and the gentleman stated that I have to pay a certain amount to finish the installation.”

She said the person on the phone said if she didn’t pay there would be interruptions later on. So, she paid the fee.

“He even said if you get an email from Roku just ignore it and just deal with us which I thought was strange too," Harris said. "I said ‘well I should be dealing with Roku.'”

The BBB says they've received 45 complaints in the past year from people alleging CaliGeeks Inc. misled them into paying fees to activate their Roku devices.

The fee's range from $79.99 - $249.99.

Harris paid $129.99, but said she has since been reimbursed.

The largest spike in complaints against the company has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the BBB, because most people have been spending more time at home.

The BBB said because they’ve received so many complaints, in late February, they opened an investigation into the company.

The BBB said they’ve requested CaliGeeks clarify its relationship with Roku, but to date the company has been unresponsive.

Because of that, they have a F rating with the BBB.

According to Roku’s website there is a never a charge to activate one of their devices.

“Hopefully people will learn about it and know not to click on or give any information to this company, because it’s definitely a scam," Harris said.

FOX19 NOW asked the BBB if CaliGeeks Inc. doesn’t respond, what would happen and could they face charges?

This responded in part: “BBB is not a governmental agency, so we don’t have regulatory or law enforcement powers. BBB regularly provides information to law enforcement, most notably the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorneys General. In the present case, BBB may also report its findings regarding CaliGeeks to law enforcement.”

If you want to read the BBB’s full article, including some tips they have to offer, click here.

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