How to Recognize Phone Scams
It is crucial to be able to recognize phone scams, as they may pose a real threat to your savings. Money is what scammers are after, using phone calls to present various alarming scenarios and scare people so they can pay up.
It is worth learning how to recognize phone scams, so you can stay on the safe side:
- On a phone scam, you’re usually made a promise or you’re threatened in some way. In both cases, pay attention to what you’re being told, as the story will sound suspicious.
- You may be called to receive a lottery win or prize. To get into possession of the prize, you’ll be asked to pay an amount of money. Remember that no prize requires payments.
- You may be threatened to be arrested if you don’t pay taxes or debts. You should calm down in such situations because authorities never call people to tell them they’re getting arrested. That’s not the way things are done.
- A “business” may be calling you with an offer, pushing you to decide on the spot. Real businesses will give you time to think things over, regardless of the made offer. You don’t have to decide right away, remember that.
- You may be asked to send money in the form of prepaid cards, gift cards, wire transfers, cash reload cards, or money transfer apps. If this is the case, you’re dealing with a scam, since it is hard for you to get your money back if you send it via previous methods.
- Never provide sensitive information during a phone call, not even if the person on the other side claims to be an employee of a governmental agency. Such requests are not legitimate over the phone. Governmental agencies don’t proceed this way.
- It is not legal for a company to call you for a sale if it hasn’t issued a request for written permission from you first. More precisely, you need to give your permission to be called for such purposes.
- Scammers may try to impress you and gain your trust by invoking charity work. They may try to get money from you by requesting donations for a cause. To rule out a scam, don’t decide on the phone, but take time to check the charity that called you. Hang up and look for information online. If you want to donate, you don’t have to make it over the phone, but also via the Internet.
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Whatever offer or proposal you’re receiving over the phone, it is always a good idea to give yourself time, instead of accepting it on the spot. Even if the phone call sounds alarming, calm down and avoid making hasty decisions.
Write information down so you can check it once the phone call is over. This will unravel any suspicions regarding the call.
Are you dealing with an insistent person? Then just hang up. You have the power to end the call whenever you want. Bear in mind that even the caller’s ID can be manipulated so that it looks genuine. If a call seems suspicious, then it probably is. Consider blocking a phone number or labeling it, if it is insistent or you discover it is a scam.
You can access DoNotCall.gov to report a phone scam. Here you can introduce the number that called you or the number you’ve been asked to call, to make payments or any other kind of request. These forms help identify illegal phone calls.