Phone scams and fraud via phone calls are prevalent in this day and age, and it seems to only be getting worse. In fact, most of us here at GWB receive multiple spam calls every day on our personal phones. There are some scams that are easier to see through than others, but scammers are getting smarter and it can be hard to know how to protect yourself. Here are a few tips to remember to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
1. Ignore whatever it is they’re selling.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. When anyone calls you uninvited, whether it’s a bank, sales people, a charity organization, a survey company, or even a business you’re familiar with, don’t give in to any pleas or pitches. Caller IDs can be easily be faked and you have absolutely no way to confirm they are who they say they are.
2. Give them absolutely nothing.
Most of the time, scammers will ask for personal information. That information can be as simple and seemingly-innocent as your name. Do not give it to them. Don’t verify your mailing address. Don’t verify if your spouse is home or what kind of car you drive. If they ask you for any personal information, simply hang up. Scammers can use even the simplest of information to inflict harm to you or your bank account.
3. I’ll call you directly.
When the callers tell you they have to speak to you regarding your account, credit cards, or something else seemingly important, tell them you will call them directly to discuss the matter. Some scammers will give you a number you can call them at, but don’t use it. Look up the phone number to the company they say they’re calling from in the phone book or on the Internet.
4. Stay alert to avoid fraud.
Always do your research before you give any personal or financial information over the phone. Check with the Better Business Bureau to verify that a business is legitimate, and check their website to see if it looks authentic and trustworthy.
It can be overwhelming to deal with so many spam calls on your phone and to try to avoid being scammed or a victim of fraud. But by remembering these tips you can better protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets against fraudsters. And if you’ve received a phone call, piece of mail, or email that you believe may be a scam, report it to the FTC by calling its consumer hotline at 877-FTC-HELP or by filing a complaint on the FTC website.