Avoiding Common Phone Scams
Avoiding phone scams can be difficult. Scammers trick users so they can get access to your information. It is more difficult than ever to detect phone scams by the phone number. Criminals often use VoIP or Internet phone numbers to seem as if they are local. The numbers are untraceable. Cell phone users can avoid most scams by using caller ID or an iPhone reverse phone number lookup to check the numbers of unknown callers.
Types of Scams
The types of phone scams increase every day, making it harder to detect or avoid the scammers. Criminals find new ways of getting money and information from users. They may use intimidation, scare tactics or guilt to get what they want from the victims. A common scam involves the IRS calling about an overdue tax bill. You should know that the IRS NEVER calls anyone; they send letters in the mail.
Another common trick involves getting the victim to say “yes.” The scammer will ask questions trying to get an agreement. Don’t fall for it.
The following are popular scams:
A representative claims your company ordered a product and requires payment. The call works because the person ordering the products is not always the person that pays the bills.
Unpaid Utility Bill
The caller says your utilities will be cut off unless you make a payment immediately.
This scam usually targets seniors. Caller scares victims into thinking their coverage is insufficient or lapsed.
Target is told he must appear for jury duty and is required to verify information.
Government Agency Impersonator
The caller claims to be from the Social Security Administration, IRS, or other agency.
Caller promises to help immigrants with documents or citizenship.
Credit Card Services
The caller claims to be from “card services.” He wants to explain offers, suspicious charges, or lower interest rates. The caller requests verification of information.
The scammer claims to be from Microsoft or Apple Tech Support. He reports a serious issue on your computer and offers to fix the problem for a fee. You should report the calls to the company the caller claims to represent.
The caller tells the victim he has won a lottery, prize, or free vacation.
Reporting calls can seem pointless yet it is important. Reports can cut down on activity and help other victims.
Internet-based scams, including government, dating and tech support scams, should be reported online at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Supply as much information as possible.
Consumer-related fraud should be reported online via the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant. Consumer-related fraud includes a prize, vacation, lottery and sweepstakes scams, utility company scams, credit card scams, tech support scams, calls from debt collectors, fake charities, and telemarketers that violate the National Do Not Call Registry.