How to avoid PHONE scams?

Friday, April 1, 2022

Unfortunately, the truth is that scammers can use many methods to steal your money and your information.

They can hack into your phone, get your number, or convince you to send them a text or phone call.

Being aware of phone scams can help you avoid being victims of them.

This article will discuss some of the most common scams used to con people and businesses.

Scamming with smartphones is rampant

Smartphones hold so much of our personal information that it is no surprise that we are now at greater risk of being conned out of money or having our data stolen.

Phishing is no longer limited to email. It can also be used in text messaging schemes.

The perpetrator pretends they are a bank, utility, government agency, or other trustworthy organization and asks for personal information.

These messages can look like automated messages and claim that there has been suspicious activity on your account or that payment was delayed.

Even if you do not share any sensitive information, sometimes the sender may try to install malware on your phone by responding to these messages.

You can verify the number of the organization that claims to be sending you a text message or delete it entirely. Then, call the organization to discuss the matter.

There have been reports that third-party app developers have tricked consumers into downloading their apps by pretending to be affiliated with well-known brands or apps. In reality, they operate independently.

Users often agree to pay a subscription fee when they download these apps.

However, major smartphone providers such as Apple and Google have password protections to prevent accidental subscriptions.

The apps could also contain malware that can mine your phone, send you text messages, hack your location information, or even steal your photos.

To protect your smartphone from scammers and keep it safe, ensure that you have a passcode or password on your device.

Also, avoid downloading any suspicious software or apps to your phone.

Robocalls, and the damage that a recording can cause

Be sure to verify that the app is affiliated with the brand before downloading it. Despite all the technology available, robocalls and automated marker

ting phone calls remain a significant telephone scam. A robocall occurs when you answer your telephone and send the recorded message to you instead of a live person.

These scammers are very clever and can use a variety of phone scams to get your money. There are also a few other tactics they use to make it seem more legitimate.

Call spoofing is a common tactic used to make it seem like they are calling from another number.

This can often mean that the first three numbers of the caller’s number mimic your area code to believe it to be a local business or someone you might know.

Another tactic is to convince you that the recording of a live person is to get you to answer with a “yes.”

Naturally, you will respond with a “yes” when you ask questions such as “are you there?” and “can you hear me?” They record your voice and use it to authorize credit card and utility company charges.

Another common phone scam is the ” one-ring scam,” where callers dial the number and then let it go after one ring, often late at night.

They often call multiple times per night from a foreign area code.

They want to make you angry or scare you into calling them back.

Their victims don’t realize that they are only looking to pocket high charges for foreign calls.

How can consumers avoid falling for deceitful dialers and robocalls? There are two options.

You can either let unknown or suspicious numbers go to voicemail.

However, many people who depend on their phones to work cannot do this.

For a small monthly charge, you can filter spam calls with apps like RoboRobo or RoboKiller.

Many wireless service providers now offer spam filtering services for a small monthly fee or free.

You should alert your local consumer protection agency or your wireless service provider if you believe you have been victim of robocall scams.

You may be entitled to compensation depending on where you live.

Scams involving imposter phones

However, not all phone scammers are robots.

Sometimes, the caller pretends to be a trusted individual to obtain your personal information.

One caller claimed to be from the Social Security Administration and tried to scam an older woman with her retirement savings.

The caller ID was tricked into showing the actual number of the agency. Additionally, the scammer had already obtained her social security numbers in advance.

These two factors gave her enough confidence to believe he worked for the agency.

He informed her that there was a problem with her account and that she would lose her benefits if it weren’t fixed.

Soon after she agreed to send the money, an accomplice called her, claiming to be from the FBI.

He claimed that she had been duped and would have to pay more money to pursue him.

She was duped both times, and her savings were wiped out by $80,000.

These scams prey on the elderly, taking advantage of the rapidly changing world to confuse them.

This phone scam is not just for the elderly. Imposters pretending to be Apple Support Agents are another common scam. iPhones are so popular all over the world.

They claim that an iCloud account of the recipient has been compromised and then ask them to verify their iCloud login information.

These phone scams use software that makes their caller ID look like a support line.

They then ask for further information, such as directly accessing your account or money. Apple warns that they won’t ask you for your login information or personal data.

If you receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming that they work for Apple, you should call their support team via their website.

Suppose you cannot verify that the person you speak for legitimately represents the company they represent. In that case, it is best not to give out personal or financial information over the telephone.

It is best to avoid anyone who claims to be from the government and asks for financial or personal information.

You should also be skeptical of anyone claiming to represent a financial institution.

Contact your bank or financial institution via a formal channel (corporate telephone number, website, or retail location) if you feel the call is genuine.

Always be cautious and confirm the identity of unknown callers

There are always new scams. The best thing you can do is stay informed about the latest phone scams.

To verify the identity of an organization or company calling you, you can ask these questions:

  • Who called and why? Although it may seem simple, asking someone to verify their identity, company affiliation and whereabouts is enough to scare away scammers. You can also cross-reference information with trusted sources.
  • Is the information they need available on a corporate website? If so, ask the caller to explain why this information is important. If you feel it is suspicious, hang up.
  • Will they call you back or give you a number to call? Pushy or aggressive callers are a red flag. Legitimate telemarketers or representatives of companies should call you back at a convenient time and give you the opportunity to inquire about their reasons for calling.
  • What verification information can they provide you? If you receive a call from a utility, ask them for confirmation of your most recent statement amount and payment date. You can also ask your bank to confirm where you last used your debit/credit card. Information that is not available to company representatives will be provided by most companies to which you are a customer.

It would be best if you were not pressured to make a payment or share your information by phone. Instead, you can end the call and contact the agency or company directly.

To confirm the legitimacy and validity of the call, use a public phone number or visit a physical location.

Many governments have local agencies that can help stop and report these scams. You can search for “Report financial frauds” on Google to find the right one.

To verify the legitimacy of a company represented on the line by a caller, you can visit their 99consumer profile to view other customers’ experiences with them.

You can also leave a review if you have had a phone conversation with a legitimate company.