The internet has been all a-buzz over the recent vote on net neutrality, and the issue does not seem to be put to rest.
In short, the FCC voted to repeal some regulations that were put in place not too long ago, and many people feel that stripping away those rules can open the door to increased costs, reduced internet connection speeds, and tiered pricing plans. Again, the issue is not entirely decided. A number of Congressmen have stated their intent to address the matter with legislation, and quite a few state governments have declared that the previous regulations will remain in effect within their states.
But as consumers, it’s important to remember that any headline-worthy event can open the door to scams and fraud attempts. Now is the time to think through any message, social media post, email, or other communication you receive regarding net neutrality or your internet service provider (ISP).
One of the most prevalent concerns from experts who were opposed to removing the regulations is that your ISP can now require you to purchase different “plans,” much like you may be doing for television service. You might have “basic cable” or “extended cable,” or you might pay extra for a specific number of premium channels. The theory is that the ISPs will now be legally allowed to do the same thing with the internet, limiting you from accessing certain websites or features unless you choose to a different plan that might cost more.
It’s important to note that this has not gone into effect through ISPs at this time, but we do see a possibile opportunity for scammers to take advantage of this and start selling you premium services that don’t exist, requiring you to “verify your username and password” to prove that you’re a customer or any number of other possible scams and fraud attempts. Remember to be on guard against spoofed emails that appear to come from your ISP or services like Netflix, and never make an immediate payment or turn over your information to someone who contacts you without prior notice. Contact your ISP yourself to ensure the security of your account if there’s a problem.