It seems every month there is yet another new phone scam to be wary of, from government calls to threats of arrest and jail time. The level of creativity found among these scams is endless. With the type of phone scam changing so rapidly, staying diligent in protecting yourself is crucial.
Keep yourself protected by staying informed
Scam artists use a baiting system to try and con individuals into giving them their personal information. With such minimal personal information needed to create and open new financial accounts, staying on top of your history is important. Websites like CheckPeople.com are geared to collect a comprehensive profile of your life, into an easy-to-read report. You’ll have access to your credit report, employment history, criminal activity, and more.
By registering for a monthly account, you’ll be able to monitor any changes to your file—limiting the impact of identity theft. Pay attention to any accounts you don’t remember opening, especially if they’ve become high balance or delinquent. Address changes and updated utility bills are also a common occurrence with fraud. Always report accounts you don’t recognize immediately.
Never Give Out Confidential Information
There are genuine instances when a company will need to confirm your account details before discussing your profile. For account security, two or three questions are typical when trying to identify who they are talking to on the phone. Be leery of any company that contacts you, however, and starts asking for identifiable details. A business will never ask you for your credit card number, nor will they ask you for the password on your account. It’s better to always offer to call back in to validate your account using the number on the back of your card.
Understand Who Will and Who Will Not Contact You
Like requesting identifiable information, most major companies will not contact you to update your account’s billing information. This is also true for phone calls trying to update your security software or access your personal computer. Many financial institutions will only reach out to you if there are additional products or services, they believe you may be interested in.
Block Unfamiliar Numbers and Contacts
Although they may not be scams, telemarketers are known for reaching out constantly. From newspaper subscriptions to trying to upgrade your television package, it never ends. To help prevent phone scams, register with the Do Not Call Registry. This registry will prevent any sales and telemarketing calls, although it will not stop companies you have authorized. Any reputable company must abide by this list, making it easier for you to identify scams moving forward.
If the contact is claiming to be with a company, simply inform them that you’ve registered with the do not call list. Most companies do not receive updated registry numbers in real-time but will happily remove you from their contact list if asked. If a company refuses to remove you from the list, there’s a good chance they’re not legitimate.
After registering for the do not call registry, remember to block any solicitation or telemarketing calls that come through after that point. Many cell phones have an unknown caller blocking functionality. This will keep random callers from contacting you, especially through VOIP or robot lines (automated dialers).
Although these aren’t the only ways of preventing phone scams, they will ensure the number of calls coming through to your line is minimized. By reducing the chance of receiving bogus phone calls, you’ll continue to keep yourself safe from scams. And protecting yourself from identity theft is much easier than trying to recover your information.
Also Read: How To Protect Ourselves From phishing