How to Protect Yourself from Technology Scams
Do you often receive calls from a number that looks exactly like yours, only to answer and find technology scams on the other end of the line? This increasingly common method is called “neighborhood spoofing.” These cell phone scams lure people into trusting the callers by using numbers that look local in hopes that you’ll answer.
Experts predict that cell phone scams will constitute almost half of all cell phone calls in the U.S by 2019. This number is a massive increase from 3% of calls resulting from technology scams in 2017!
While many people already choose to ignore calls from unknown numbers, others may still want to answer the call to see who it is. The tips below will help you identify technology scams and protect your privacy.
With Cell Phone Scams, the Number Might Look Familiar
“Neighborhood spoofing” makes the number feel familiar to the user, and therefore, more inclined to answer. But with the dominance of cell phones, area codes are significantly less relevant than they were 15-years ago. Be cautious if you see a number that shares the same first six (or more digits) with your own. If you answer the call, be prepared to hang up if it appears to be one of the cell phone scams.
Don’t Let Technology Scams Intimidate You
A common tactic of cell phone scams is for scammers to pose as debt collectors or the IRS. They’ll claim you owe thousands of dollars and you could get arrested if you don’t pay immediately. These calls are often aggressive, and the scammer will try to play on your emotions to force your hand. Try to remain calm. Remember that legitimate businesses and organizations have much more professional forms of communications and would never make overly aggressive threats.
Take Their Information And Call Them Back
If a scammer is posing as a legitimate company that you do business with (i.e., your car insurance company or bank), ask them for information regarding the call. Request a ticket or reference number, their supervisor’s name, their official job title, and a call-back number. Most scammers will become frustrated and give up because they don’t have real answers to these questions. However, if they are tenacious enough to answer, thank them and call an official line from the company they claim to be representing. When you attempt to verify the caller’s information, technology scams become easy to spot.
They’ll Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse
Cell phone scammers will often inform you that you won a contest that you never entered. Usually, they’ll claim you won a vacation package from a major cruise line or hotel chain. They’ll ask for some information or a deposit to secure your winnings. Have you ever actually won a sweepstake that you did enter?
Still, if you think you may be that lucky, take down the information, and call a customer service number for the company that is “offering” you this prize. If they do run contests, they should be able to connect you with the department that handles those contents, and you can verify if you’re really a winner.
Know Where To Put Your Trust
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