Darren Cauthon said his wife downloaded an app advertising free movies to the family’s smart TV, then a message popped up rendering the TV useless.
“Said that it wanted $500, the FBI wanted $500 to get the TV to work again,” said Cauthon.
Cauthon is a computer programmer and knew right away someone was trying to take his money and infiltrate his TV.
“Pure anger you know. You buy a TV and you expect it to work and it, a hacker gets in the TV,” said Cauthon.
“Any device that is connected to the Internet can get hacked. That goes for TVs, smartphones, tablets and even vehicles,” said technology expert Burton Kelso.
The problem is the information you put on your TV. Hackers can find out your email and log in through the apps you download.
“It’s the email and password information that hackers want to get a hold of because they can use that email and password combination to log on to other online accounts such as Amazon, banking and credit card web sites,” said Kelso.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to your smart TV, Kelso suggests making sure your Internet connection and TV software is up to date. Also, make sure you are downloading well known apps and not apps that could possibly be scammers at work.
“The FBI will not contact you via your TV to demand money from you, so if anything on your TV demands money from you don’t pay them,” said Cauthon.