Be Aware about Phone Scammer
Phone scams are no joke. Scammers target millions of individuals each year by means of robocalls. Numerous individuals fall victim to tricks for ensured free vacations, offers on restorative supplies, or other items. A common trick plays upon fear when the scammer undermines capture for unpaid obligations or charge bills.
One of the foremost notorious phone tricks, the IRS scam, has stolen over millions of dollars from Americans over the a long time. In 2019, the IRS distributed an upgraded list of their annually “Dirty Dozen” scams, cautioning individuals to be watchful year-round of IRS phone calls.
Any caller that requests the discharge of individual data, counting birthdate, Social Security number, credit card number or bank account number, may be a trick. A government office will never call individuals over the phone nor send emails. Moreover, no authentic substance requests instalment by means of wire transfer, gift card, or Bitcoin transaction.
1. Free Vacations and Prizes
In 2017, the Government Exchange Commission obtained over 142,000 reports of this sort of extortion, with an add up to misfortune of $95.05 million. The fraud was conducted through forceful phone strategies. It goes something like this: You wrap up your day at work, and you find a voicemail from an unknown number: “Congrats! You’ve won a free voyage to the Bahamas! To claim you compensate…” Chances are, like most things, usually as well great to be genuine. The free prize, Disney trip, Caribbean journey, dream get-away, etc. may be a common scam. The prize might alter, but the scammers still want the same thing: your individual information and cash.
A major red flag to be careful with with these free trip phone scams is in case they ask you to pay a small fee to collect your prize. If you win something, you shouldn’t get to pay for it. Moreover, recognize that you simply won’t win a sweepstakes that you just didn’t enter.
Another variety of the free trip or remunerate trick is the Jamaican lottery trick, which particularly targets the elderly. You’ll be able learn more around the Jamaican lottery trick and how to avoid it in 5 simple steps.
2. Phishing Scams
Fraudsters utilize phishing scams by means of e-mail or websites, but there are too many phishing calls that attempt to convince you that there’s an issue together with your computer. These scammers will make you think that your computer and protection is a chance to urge data out of you or to induce you to download a pernicious computer program that can take your data.
Most companies like Microsoft won’t call you out of the blue. In the event that you are doing it, get a call where an individual is saying that you’re at risk, inquire them for their data, and say that you’ll call back. Once you’ve hung up, you’ll be able to check with the company they said they were calling from to see on the off chance that there truly is an issue along with your computer.
3. Loan Scams
Whenever you get a cold call from a telemarketer, it’s savvy to be suspicious, particularly when they are offering you money and asking for information. In case you’re feeling that you’ve gotten a call from a loan scammer, you’ll record a report with the FTC. CallerSmart’s caller ID app is enlightening on how to record a complaint and get yourself on the FTC Do Not Call List.
4. Fake Debt Collectors
Equally as irritating as loan scammers, but a bit more disheartening since of the dangers they can make, phone debt collectors can be a genuine issue. In case you get a call from a debt collector, inquire for the representative’s title, number, and company data. At that point I concluded the call. After that, you just can check along with your bank around the calls to confirm on the off chance that the obligation collector is genuine.
The FTC gives fabulous rules on what to do with respect to badgering from false obligation collectors. The number one thing to do is to deny to deliver, or confirm, any of your individual data out. Inquire for the caller’s data and require composed take note of your obligation. Interesting truth: In case you send a composed letter inquiring a obligation collector to halt calling you, they can not lawfully call you.
5. Fake Charities
Charity scams continue to grow. In 2017, the FTC reported over 3,000 calls totaling a loss of $2.54 million.
Sadly, some people feel they have nothing better to do than pose as fake charities and scam people out of money. One of the most common fundraiser telephone scams involve people pretending to collect money for local police and fire departments.
Before you give out any personal information or even think about donating, ask for the caller’s information and the details of the charity, then hang up. Afterward, check with your local police or fire department to verify any fundraising efforts.
Calls include more groups than fake police and fire departments. In 2015, the FTC filed a civil complaint against four supposed cancer charities. These charities stole nearly $200 million from Americans; their success in large part was due to aggressive telemarketing tactics. Scams also include natural disasters, COVID-19, and various human-interest events.
Before you decide to donate, it’s always a good idea to do some information digging to make sure you know where your money is going. There are websites, like the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, that can help you check out charities to make sure they’re legitimate. To learn more about fake charity scams, check out our 5 simple ways to protect against charity phone scams.
6. Medical Alert Scams and Other Scams Targeting Seniors
Seniors are especially vulnerable to phone scams because scammers target them the most. A common senior scam offers free medical alert systems. Much like the free giveaway scams, medical alert phone scams ask for personal information.
Most recently, con artists have focused on Social Security scams. The caller says the senior’s Social Security number has been suspended due to a past debt or has expired. The caller requires personal information to verify the account. There is a fee attached to have the SSN renewed and/or the debt lifted. The scam is entirely fake as an SSN never expires, nor are they suspended. Additionally, the Social Security Administration doesn’t make phone calls; it communicates via mail.
It’s best to just hang up on these callers whether they’re offering free medical systems, discounted prescriptions, or making threats. If the DEA had a warrant out on you, they wouldn’t call you. However, this is a common scam aimed at making people panic and react quickly.
7. Warrant Threats
Similar to the IRS scam, calls threatening arrest can cause extreme distress. Scammers design the phone calls to make people panic. The caller claims that the target is guilty of one of the following:
- Past due bill
- IRS tax debt
- Unpaid fine or ticket
- Failure to appear for jury duty
- Reports of criminal actions
You or someone you know might have received phone calls from someone claiming to be the sheriff’s department, or DEA, or even the FBI. When you get calls like this, don’t trust them.
CallerSmart can automatically block scam calls, but we, unfortunately, can’t block all scam numbers; there are just too many. You can also manually block numbers with our guide on how to block calls on your iPhone. Our crowdsourced information can also help you quickly identify scammers. Remember that law enforcement will never call to demand you to send them money.
8. IRS Calls
Imposter scams rank highest on the list of reports made to the FTC. In 2017, nearly 350,000 reports showed a total loss of $328.42 million to imposter scams. The most common and publicized imposter phone scam is the IRS scam. Robo dialers call thousands of people daily, trying to catch them in this scam. The standard scam involves telling the victim that a tax debt is due. If the debtor does not pay immediately, he will be arrested and fined. The caller insists on verifying the taxpayer’s information, which can lead to identity theft.
Two new IRS scams involve the Taxpayer Advocate System (TAS) scam and the COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment scam.
The Tax Advocate (TAS) scams involve con artists attempting to convince people that they work for the independent agency attached to the IRS. The TAS operates under the auspices of the IRS to help taxpayers find solutions to federal tax issues. In this scam, the fraudster requires verification of identification, including name, address, phone number, and social security number. Scammers try to convince people to pay fake tax debts and to give up personal information they will use for identity theft or other nefarious purposes.
The second scam variation revolves around the Coronavirus. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion economic relief package designed to protect the American people from the impacts of COVID-19. Scammers take advantage of this act in two ways: The first is a typical scheme to retrieve sensitive information from victims. The second involves sending checks to individuals with the request to return part of the funds for overpayment. Know it’s a fake check. The victim ends up owing the bank the initial amount of the check plus any fees.
These scammers can be incredibly convincing as they often know your name and the last 4 digits of your social security. However, the real IRS will never request immediate payment from you over the phone, we’ve also created five easy steps to help you identify IRS scam calls. Report any contact made by an IRS scammer to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484.
These are the 8 most common scams that we’ve come across, but we are sure that there are more out there, and new ones will continue to pop up. The FTC shows that only a small percentage of phone scams get reported, and only a small percentage of those scams report a financial loss. It’s difficult to say how many scams go unreported due to a lack of information or embarrassment.
The best thing that you can do is stay educated, warn others out there about scam callers, and report them to the FTC.