Is Roku trying to phish Richard Samuels? And if not, why is it giving him the silent treatment? Let’s find out.
I recently received an email from Roku thanking me for creating a new account. There’s just one problem: I have no Roku products. I asked the company when and how the account was created, but it refused to provide the information. I’m concerned this is a possible case of identity theft.
Can you help me find the right person at Roku? I’d like to reach someone who can tell me how this account was created and remove all of my information from their database. — Richard Samuels, Portland, Ore.
I would have been a little worried, too. The email, which talks about “planned maintenance,” is riddled with grammatical errors and, on first blush, looks like a clumsy phishing attempt. The fact that Roku didn’t respond to any of your queries seems to support the conclusion that the email was a fake.
Of course, Roku should have responded to your inquiries to let you know if this was legit or not. I’m not sure why it didn’t. Sometimes, call centers can get overwhelmed with inquiries, and that may be what happened. But it’s no excuse.
Did you ever have a Roku device?
While you might not currently have Roku’s digital media player, I asked you to think back. Have you ever owned one of its devices? And indeed, it turns out you had — back in 2011. I used to own one, too, but had forgotten about it until I reviewed your case. With so many gadgets in our lives, it’s hard to keep track of all of them.
So this wasn’t identity theft. Roku made a legitimate update that only looked like an amateurish phishing scheme.
I publish the names, numbers and email addresses of Roku’s executives on my consumer advocacy site. You could have used those to hold the company’s feet to the fire. I contacted Roku on your behalf, too, but also got the silent treatment.
In the end, you figured out that your identity was safe, the maintenance issue was real and that Roku staff needs to take some remedial English lessons. Good to know.