How often do you find yourself receiving spam calls from telemarketers? While some are trying to sell you something you don’t need nor asked for, there are others that are designed to steal your personal information and many are designed to instantly access your personal and financial information on your computer.
It’s scary how easy it is for someone overseas to access your computer through these scams and instantly steal all of the information stored on it. They are getting tricky and will often spoof the number they are calling from to make it look like they are calling from a local number, a number you know, or even you own phone number.
There are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t fall victim to these scumbags. If you don’t recognize a phone number don’t answer the call. If you get tricked into answering due to a number spoof then be very cautious. Here are some things you need to take into consideration.
Always ask for a contact number to call them back.
This is very simple. If there is any question, simply ask for a number to call back. “Sorry, this is not a good time. Give me your direct number and I will call you back.”
Most times they will hang up. They are trying to do their damage on the spot. Also, these scam operations are not setup to take incoming calls. Everything is outgoing because they are trying to capitalize right away. If the person has time to research the number or dig into it more they will often discover it’s a scam.
They will sometimes use scare tactics. “We are sending someone to arrest you right now” is one they often use, and unfortunately it works when they are targeting the elderly.
Never give any personal information over the phone.
They will often say they are trying to verify your identity and they just need to confirm it. They will then begin to ask for personal identifying information like your address, full name, date of birth and social security number.
When they have all of this information they can easily steal your identity. They can have credit cards and bank accounts open within minutes. It’s actually very scary what they can do with just basic information.
If you do fall victim to identity theft the process to clean up the mess is costly and very time consuming. As a rule of thumb NEVER give out any personal information over the phone.
Common scams are: IRS, credit card, and debt.
The most common scams are:
- Claiming to be the IRS asking for payment or they will send someone to arrest you.
- Claiming to be your bank needing to identify your social security number or they will freeze all of your accounts.
- Claiming to be a debt collector that requires payment right away or you will be arrested.
- Claiming to be your credit card company and they ask to verify your card number in an attempt to steal it.
If these people want to get in touch with you they will not be doing it via a call center. Be very weary of anyone asking for your personal information over the phone.
Block the number.
This is simple. When you get a scam call make sure to go into your phone settings and block the number. iPhones have this feature available. While they change number often it will reduce some calls.
Now iPhones also identify numbers as “Scam Likely” on caller ID if it’s a suspect number. Never answer calls identified as a scam. If you do fall victim of a phone scam you are going to want to seek legal advice.