Phone Scams, What Are They & How To Protect Your Self!
Phone scams are significantly higher than ever, it’s crystal clear the bad guys latest
method of attack is through your phone, this is the newest serious threat to your
personal Identity and/or hard earned cash!
The bad guys have become very successful at getting you to answer their call by
spoofing their caller ID and phone number, making it impossible to recognize a
call to your phone as some type of marketing or scammer call.
Because none of these calls are coming from 1 800 numbers or even more
obvious, a number coming from a foreign country.
The term “Spoofing” is a trick used to disguise information you see, in this case,
caller IDs and phone numbers. They spoof the phone number they are calling
from – to whatever number or caller ID they want you to see on your caller ID!
The number you see on your caller ID is local to your city or town, resulting in a
very high chance you will at least answer their scam phone call.
The FCC estimates 2.4 billion scam calls are made every month. Chinese
Robocallers and many other crooks are bombarding the U.S, attacking unsuspecting
victims every day. And these poor souls are losing millions. It is estimated these scam
call centers are raking in as much as a ¼ of
a million dollars a day from phone scams.
What, is a phone scam?
Most likely you’ve already gotten a phone scam.
One of the most common phone scams is you answer an incoming call from a number
that does not appear to be a sales call. On the line is someone saying they are from
”card services” and want to speak to you about your credit card account. The voice
prompts you to press a button to be transferred to a representative who can lower
your interest rate.
Another popular scam is from an imposter IRS agents urging you to pay your
overdue taxes or risk being arrested.
This new phone scam is to get your identity. You receive an urgent call from
DHS (Department of Homeland Security).
The scammer pretends to be an agent with DHS and alters the caller ID to make
it appears as if the call is coming from the DHS Hotline number (1-800-323-8603).
“In order to protect you,” the fraudster demands that the victim of this scam verify
all of his or her personal information through various deceptive tactics,
including claiming you are a victim of identity theft… if you fall for this scam, you
absolutely will be a victim of identity theft because you are giving
the bad guys all your personal identity on a silver platter, over the phone.
In case you didn’t know, identity theft is a crime in which a criminal acquires and
uses someones personal information to impersonate them, usually for financial gain.
There are many different phone scams and they are all designed to get at your personal
identity or cash.
Regardless of the scam, these kinds of calls have completely invaded our privacy and
caused far too many people serious financial loss.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself From Phone Scammers?
Let your voice mail screen unrecognized calls.
When you review your voice mail messages, you can decide if it is a legit call you
should return… or if not, simply delete it. Recorded messages on your voice mail are
likely scam calls. Install visual voice mail to help make this process easy
and painless way to screen your calls.
Give nothing to people you don’t know.
Fraudsters are hunting for information. Your best defense is to tell them nothing,
and that means nothing. Any bit of information you give to scammers, including
answering the seemingly harmless question – “can you hear me” could be used to
attempt to part you from your money or harm you.
In the case of the question “can you hear me” if you answer yes they record your voice and
try to use it as your permission against you for fraudulent charges. If you ever hear a sales
caller ask you “can you hear me” just say no and HANG UP!
I didn’t ask you to call me!
The 1st rule of telemarketing safety is to ignore the emotional pleas and sales pitches of anyone who calls you uninvited. Refuse calls from callers claiming to be salespeople, charities, schools, utilities or even public officials, you have no way to confirm they are who they say they are. Don’t rely on your caller ID. That can be spoofed. And do not rely on the number they gave to call back either, look up the number yourself and call them back if you think it’s a call you need to return.
Let me call you back.
If the callers insist they have to speak with you, for example, they are from your bank and need to give you important information. Ok fine, tell them, you are busy at the moment, but you will call them back shortly. If it is legit, a return phone call will not an issue. Fraudsters will often offer a phone number for you to call as proof they are who they say they are. Don’t believe them. Instead of accepting the phone number they offer, you’re much safer looking up the number independently in the Yellow Pages, your monthly billing statement or on the Internet.
Even if you initiate a call, you still might not be safe. Before you give any personal or financial information over the phone, check out the company’s credentials, ask the person to give you their information, check with the Better Business Bureau, take a look at the company’s website and/or ask for references.
Don’t Be Pressured, Take Your Time.
Scammers often try to create a false deadline. If you feel pressured to make a decision, hang up. You’ve spent a lifetime earning your money. You deserve a little time to choose how to spend it. Don’t let them pressure you to make a decision on the spot.
Read up on the latest threats, keep up with the news, but don’t try to learn it all at once. Continue your research and learn a little bit about these emerging threats over time. In a relatively short period of time, you will become fairly savvy about these scams. Information is your best defense against getting scammed. Have any questions, feel free to give us a call (734) 971-6900