How to Identify and Avoid the Most Common Telephone Scams
How to Identify and Avoid the Most Common Telephone Scams
It is sadly common to receive a fake call that sounds so official and professional such that you do not suspect at that time as to whether it is a genuine call or not. Although some feel as outdated, telephone scams are yet a burning issue for most of us.
According to a Harris Poll, approximately 11% of adults in the United States lost money to a scam on phone in 2016. Further, the money lost totaled $7.4 billion. Such phone scams, with a modern trend of robocalls coming at nights, are not just irritating but also intimidating and costly.
According to Pindrop Labs, the most common phone scams happen in the name of Google, loans, free holiday offers, political deals, lowering bills, credit cards, tax liabilities, important business, and efficient home security systems.
These days, the phone scams are unluckily more widespread among the elderly people apart from small businesses and finance enthusiasts. Well, it is the need of an hour to identify and avoid these common scams happening over a call. Let’s check the common fake calls and explore solutions to avoid them!
Okay, not all calls for donation are fake. However, quite often, a sudden call from an unknown organizer or fundraiser asking you to donate for a local or noble cause can be fake! Such fake calls usually lure you such that you give them all your credit card or bank details.
Then, the fraudsters shall grab all your money and will use the same for themselves. For instance, fraudsters are likely to mask themselves as the staff member of some famous charity organization or even of a local government body.
Tech Support Fake Calls
Using the latest technologies, it is pretty easy for the scammers to represent the support staff in a professional manner. A common example that is rampant these days is impersonating the Google or Microsoft staff for convincing people for sharing their laptop or PC.
You should know that a tech support call is a scam if it rings without any request from your side for fixing your device. This is critical to remember because these fraudsters take no time in spoofing the formal caller ID numbers.
Tax Pay Fake Calls
Fraudsters are experts in manipulating you emotionally. They are masters to instill a sense of urgency or fear in you so that you take an impromptu action. If it is a tax official on the call, then that’s the best way to take off money from anyone.
Recently, fraudsters pretend to be from a reputable tax agency such as IRS and warn people to report their taxes. They further threaten to expel or detain people on call if they fail to act instantly. Well, this much is enough for most unsuspecting people to do exactly what the fraudster wants.
Fake Loan Calls
These are common scams. Nowadays, these are usually computerized calls that lure you by either giving an offer of reduced interest rates or frighten you by saying that the past loans are still due. Fraudsters get your contact details by hacking legitimate online services.
Free Goodies Fake Calls
In such calls, a scammer will usually inform that you are selected for a free tour, a ticket to a theme park, or a free iPhone. However, they are truly after your bank or credit card details. This becomes evident when they tell you that they need these details to pay some fees or tax on your behalf.
Fake Credit Card Calls
Well, here, the good news is that the frequency and the unique number of such calls are falling at a rapid pace. In these calls, the fraudsters convince you that they can assist you in paying off your debts more quickly than estimated. However, this itself is the trick to obtain your personal and financial information.
How to Avoid These Fake Telephone Scams
Following are some proven ways to avoid being a victim of these phone scams:
- Upon a doubt, just hang up the phone and call the genuine organization on whose behalf they were calling or your own local organization such as local donation company, loan company, or tech support service provider. This may sound somewhat clumsier but it reduces the risk of being scammed. Hanging the phone is an effective solution against fake robocalls or computerized calls
- Always request for charity, loan, tech support, and other details in writing and validate them before you proceed to give your money.
- Look for the official Website and contact details of the caller, as a fraudster will always give wrong or invalid details.
- If you ever get a call regarding help or support, tell that you will call them back. Do not respond to such calls at all.
- Avoid using the URLs or phone numbers shared on a fake call.
- Use a reverse phone lookup like phonelookup-24 .
- Avoid buying any software or services on calls.
- Avoid sharing your computer to unknown people.
- Never give any kind of personal or financial details including your identification numbers even if the other person on call seems to be a genuine one. Rather take their details such as name, contact, and office address and report the same to your local authorities for verification.
- Always contribute via a method that gives documentation or receipt as proof.
- Know that IRS does not threaten on call. The first warning always comes through a mail.
- Do not pick up any unknown calls. Do have a caller ID phone for this purpose.
- Google the unknown number when it rings, as you may find complaints about that number I forums or communities such as WhoCalledUs and Caller Complaints.
The ultimate solution to avoid phone scams is to remain alert and beware. Just do not believe straightaway that the call you are having a genuine one, especially when you are not expecting one such assistance or lucky free gifts call.
Keep in mind that the scammers target your emotions such as greed or fear and put you into a trap. By taking undue advantage of these emotions, they do not even allow you to recall the aforementioned solutions or notice or recognize a few tangible or discernible warning signs. So, do not get emotional and keep your eyes and ears open!