How to Protect Yourself from the Latest Phone Scams

Business, English - June 8, 2021
Image 1. How to Protect Yourself from the Latest Phone Scams

They’re happening more and more frequently now. You get a phone call from a number that you don’t recognize, only to be greeted with that very salesperson-like voice on the other end. That’s when you know that you should’ve just cut the call instead of picking up. You know what? That’s often a very good idea, for a variety of reasons! No wonder Millennials these days are so averse to phone calls – you can never be too sure about who’s on the other end. And with the latestphone scams constantly evolving, some say that there’s reason to have anxiety about picking up a call from an unknown number.

We’re going to help you alleviate some of that anxiety. Yes, phone scams happen way too often, but we’re here to try to beat them. Hopefully, with more and more people learning about them, those scammers won’t be as successful in future, making their business far less profitable. We’re allowed to dream. Still, by understanding how these phone scams work and how to avoid them, you’ll be able to keep yourself safe from becoming another statistic as a phone scam victim.

You might have noticed that during 2020, there were fewer phone scams. That’s because the COVID pandemic caused many call centers to close down for a while. Now, however, they’re up and running again with the added threat of coronavirus scams in their repertoire.

The Most Common Phone Scams

As smartphone technology advances, mobile phone frauds are becoming more prevalent. The victims of these scams might lose anything from a few dollars to their entire life savings. As we become more reliant on these gadgets in our daily lives, it’s critical to be aware of the various types of mobile scams and how to avoid them.

Phone Insurance Scams

These typically occur after you’ve just bought a new phone. Scammers will call you, pretending to be from the firm where you bought your phone. Then they’ll try to sell you insurance to cover it. In the worst-case situation, you won’t obtain any phone insurance at all. Always request credentials, including a phone number for follow-up. Never give up any financial or personal information over the phone, especially if the call was not initiated by you.

One-ring Scams

This fraud begins with a vexing call from an unknown number that just rings once. When you see the missed call, the scammers expect you to call back. When you call back, you’ll be charged a $19.95 connection cost, as well as minimum $9 per-minute fees. Scams like this generally start in the Caribbean. The area codes 268, 809, 876, 284, and 473 have all been involved in different scams. Don’t call back if you get a call from a number you don’t recognize and it only rings once! If you’ve been duped, keep a watch on your bill and call your service provider.

Ransomware Scams

Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? To be brutally honest, it really is.  With ransomware scams, these swindlers will hold your phone hostage until you pay a ransom. Your phone will freeze and a screen will appear when you are exploring the web on it. You’ll be notified that you’ve made some legal infringement, according to an official-looking notification. You must pay a “fine” that must be transferred into a debit account before you may use your phone again. To avoid this, be cautious about what you download on your phone and only install apps from your phone’s official app store. Don’t download apps from websites that don’t use your phone’s app store.

Recorded Message Scams

One-ring scams are comparable to these. You will receive a voicemail instead of a missed call, instructing you to call back for further details on a prize you have won. When you phone again, you’ll be charged high costs, similar to one-ring scams, and the prize will almost certainly be a hoax. Don’t call back if you get a voicemail asking you to call to learn more about your prize.

Travel Promotion Phone Calls

The caller is overjoyed to inform you that you’ve been chosen to win a free trip or flight, but they’ll need your social security number or credit card number to confirm your identification. Even if a respectable organization gives you such a discount, they will expect something in return, such as taxes or forced timeshare presentations. Never give out your credit card number or any other important information about yourself to strangers. If it’s a robocall, simply ignore it. Companies aren’t allowed to robocall you to sell their products unless you give them permission.

Tech Support Scams

These con artists frequently pose as employees of big tech companies such as Apple or Google. They alert you to a significant problem with your computer, such as a virus that has wiped out all of your data and stored files. They claim that if you don’t act now, you’ll lose years of valuable data. If you do have a virus, you won’t get a call from a large IT company warning you about it. If you receive a call from someone making similar claims, hang up.

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Always update your phone – Your phone’s software updates contain security patches that keep up with some of the most common hacker and scammer tactics that are currently being used.

Stay safe on public Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi networks are not as safe as they seem and are a haven for hackers and scammers who can easily access our information. Don’t make financial transactions when connected and use a VPN.

Understand your phone’s security features – Get to grips with the security features on your phone to better understand where its vulnerabilities lie and how to protect its operating system. Adjust the security options and ensure all your personal information stays as safe as possible.Use a passcode – Always keep your phone locked behind strong pins or passwords. If your phone has a fingerprint scanner, make a point of turning this feature on.