How to Avoid Phone Scams

Studies show that unwanted sales calls, robocalls, and outright scam calls are on the rise. Here are some tips to help you spot these types of calls and report them when you receive them:

 

Common Scams

  • A demanding government agency threatening arrest if you don’t act or respond immediately
  • Bank fraud alerts that request your personal information over the phone
  • Free vacation or cruise offers
  • Free medical test kits or treatments
  • Debt repair or credit relief
  • Vague voicemails/recordings from spoofed numbers with your area code (i.e. the “Stay safe and stay home” recordings that went around this past year)

 

Common Tactics

  • Spoofing: The caller ID can appear as a bank’s customer support line or insurance company to seem legitimate.
  • Neighbor Spoofing: The caller ID can appear as a number within your area code to seem more familiar.

 

Receiving an Unknown Call

  • Do not answer: If you are unsure about who the caller is, let it go to voicemail. Legitimate callers will likely leave a voicemail or send a text.
  • Search their number: To see if the particular number has been reported before, try searching the phone number with the word “scam” following it.
  • Do NOT answer questions: If you pick up a scam call, you may be asked questions such as “Can you hear me?” to get a “yes” from you. That recording can then be used as confirmation for a charge or purchase.
  • Do NOT provide info: Do not volunteer personal information or payment when speaking to an unverified caller.

 

Blocking Unwanted Calls

  • Wireless Carrier: Your phone carrier may offer services to block scam calls, or already mark certain calls as “Potential Spam.”
  • Your Cell Phone: Your smartphone may have settings to help you block calls from numbers you haven’t contacted before, however this option may block legitimate callers as well.
  • Blocker Apps: Some free or low-cost smartphone apps can help you block and manage incoming spam calls.

 

Reporting Unwanted Calls

 

I hope that these tips help you safeguard your personal information and gives you one less thing to stress about! As always, I’m here for you and your family if I can help in any way to protect you from these common scams and can be contacted at 480-355-8645.

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