Not too long ago, if someone stole from you, you wouldn’t notice right away. Now, with technology so closely interwoven into our everyday routines, thieves and scammers have easier access to our personal information and digital valuables than ever before. Many people are the victims of scams without even knowing it. A current phone scam making the rounds is the spoof phone number scam.
Uhhh, Hello? Watch Out for this Phone Scam
Just what you need, another spoofing scam. This latest one comes in the form of a phone call, from your own number. Though, no one is calling just to say hi, they’re calling to extract vital personal information.
The scam begins with a call placed to your phone, displaying your own phone number. Upon picking up, you are informed it’s the phone company and they have important news to share. Apparently, your account has been hacked and they need to verify a few things with you.
What things? Your integral social insurance number and telephone account number.
This scam can be convincing and is not inconceivable for people to fall victim. A particular demographic susceptible to spoof scams are senior citizens.
Watch this video detailing the phone spoof scam:
How to Report Phone Scams
You’ve received a call from yourself, what do you do? Maybe you let it go to voicemail, or the curiosity is too much and you pick up. Whatever the case, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself, including reporting phone scams.
First, don’t pick up, the most effective solution. Just let it ring and move on. Don’t release information, should curiosity overcome you and you take the call. Instead, proceed to call the company using the number from the company website or from an official company document such as a bill. Reporting phone scams should be done to the appropriate authorities such as the National Do Not Call Registry, the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau.
Detecting Phone Number Scams
Seeing your own phone number on call display may trigger alarm bells. Though, some scams aren’t as conspicuous. The ability to recognize a scam could allow you to hang on to your money and your peace of mind. Tap into your inner sleuth with these scam recognition tips.
1- Sounds too good to be true: You have been randomly selected…Yada, yada, yada. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
2- Paying up front: A fee is requested before you’ve received anything.
3- Forced into quick decisions: You may hear something like, “this is a limited offer”. This is a ploy to prevent you from thinking something through and rather, act on impulse.
4- Fear approach: Example, your gas line is faulty and needs immediate repairs.
5- Request for personal details: An insistence on acquiring personal details such as social security number, credit card number or banking details.
6- Unprofessionalism: You’ve received an email with atrocious grammatical errors. You may be dealing with a desperate scam or an overseas phishing scam.
7- Can you keep a secret? If you’re asked to keep something a secret, it’s likely the scammer doesn’t want you to consult with family or friends and have them knock some sense into you.