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7 Ways to Avoid Phone Scams

7 Ways to Avoid Phone Scams

Millions of Americans are targeted by phone scams everyday. Robocallers have a variety of extremely convincing schemes they use to trick consumers out of money and personal information. Here are some tips to avoid phone scams no matter what tactics the scammers use.

Be skeptical of all unsolicited calls, especially calls asking you for money for any reason or your personal information. It’s hard to know for sure that the person on the other end of the phone is who they say they are. Even if they have a bit of personal information about you, it doesn’t mean they’re not trying to scam you. Scammers can even spoof the caller ID to make the name and phone number appear like a real business.

Google the number. Many people complain on the internet about scam businesses. If you’re skeptical about a phone number that’s calling you, type it into a search engine to see what other people are saying about it.

Don’t wire money or send prepaid card codes in exchange for products or services. These are scammers favorite methods of payment because they cannot be tracked. Once you send the money, the scammer will typically disappear with your funds.

Don't send money for prizes. In prize and sweepstakes scams, the scammer will typically ask you to send some type of payment before you can claim your prize. You can't win a prize you never applied for and if you’d really won, no payment would be necessary.

Verify calls that you think could be legitimate. Hang up, look up the company’s number on their website and call to confirm before making any payment. For example, if a company calls saying there is fraud on your credit card account, call the number on the back of your credit card to be sure you're talking to your credit card issuer.

Protect your personal information like your financial information. Not all scammers ask for money. Some scammers want your personal information so they can commit credit card fraud or identity theft. Scammers may have a little bit of information about you and just need a few more things, like your date of birth or the beginning of your social security number.

Beware of fear tactics. In a few schemes, scammers try to scare you into paying money right away. They may pretend to be the IRS collecting a tax debt or the police pursuing a warrant. Just know that neither of these entities will try to collect a debt from you by phone. Always call a number that you trust and verify that you actually owe the money before making a payment.

Guard your money and your personal information carefully. If you think you've been a victim of a scam or contacted by a scammer, report it to the Federal Trade Commission, who can investigate and take action.

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Comments 1

Frank on Friday, 22 July 2016 11:24

I honestly never answer my phone if I do not know who it is. There are so many scam callers nowadays. If they leave a message then I will call them back.

I honestly never answer my phone if I do not know who it is. There are so many scam callers nowadays. If they leave a message then I will call them back.
Tuesday, 14 July 2020

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