Have you ever received a phone call from someone who claimed to be from your bank, and they said that there was a problem with your account? Or, maybe you’ve received a call in which the person on the other end claimed to be from Microsoft, and they said that your computer was infected with a virus? If you have, then you’ve likely been the victim of a phone scam. Unfortunately, phone scams are becoming increasingly common, and it can be difficult to protect yourself from them. In this blog post, you’ll see some tips on how to protect yourself from phone scams. Always be cautious when handling these types of calls. If you feel the person on the other line is engaging in criminal activity, try to perform a reverse phone lookup and contact the authorities.
Always Be Skeptical
The old saying still holds true: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone calls you and claims that you’ve won a big prize or that your bank account will be getting a huge deposit, and they instruct you to provide personal information (such as your credit card number), then chances are the call is fake.
Similarly, anyone claiming to call from a government institution or bank should not need you to provide personal information. So, for example, when someone calls from a bank saying that they want to confirm some details about your account, do not give them any information. Instead, ask them for a phone number and call the institution back using a number found on their website or in their marketing material.
When speaking with someone over the phone who claims to be from your bank or another organization, ask questions about inconsistencies in their story or things that just sound off. For example, if the person calling you says that they’re from your bank, but they have called collect from overseas, then chances are they don’t actually work for your bank at all! A true bank representative will never require you to use an international line when calling them back.
Also, suppose the person calling you is unable to provide you with information about your account or seems uncertain about your account details. In that case, chances are they’re not actually from your bank at all. It’s also a good idea to ask questions that only someone who has knowledge of your account would be able to answer. If the person on the other end of the line is making statements that aren’t true, then the chances are that they’re trying to scam you.
Never Give Out Personal Information
Regardless of what anyone tells you over the phone, never give out personal information such as your credit card number. Stay safe by keeping these numbers in a secure location and never give them out over the phone no matter how much someone insists that they need to “verify” them.
In addition, don’t provide any other personal information unless you’re absolutely certain that it’s someone from your bank or another legitimate organization. If you’re not sure who is calling, then simply hang up. Chances are if you’re receiving a phone call from an organization claiming to be contacting you for security purposes, the callers are most likely not who they say they are.
Never Give Out Your PIN
If someone claiming to be from your bank calls you and requires that you provide your PIN, then chances are it’s a scam. The only time anyone should ever ask for your PIN or password is if you call them yourself requesting information about your account. This is because banks never need to ask for this type of information over the phone; they already have it!
Don’t Fall for Scammers’ Tricks
While there are many tips that can help protect you against phone scams, scammers can still find ways to trick us into giving out our personal information. So what do they do? Well, one technique scammers use involves playing on our emotions in order to make us scared enough to trust them with our personal information.
For example, scammers may try to frighten you into thinking that your bank account has been compromised or that your social security number will be revoked if you don’t provide them with personal information. In fact, some scammers have even been known to threaten people by saying they’ll come and arrest them for not providing their information! No matter what someone tells you over the phone, never believe it without first calling back using a phone number found on an official resource such as their website.
Additionally, scammers often try getting us to fall for their tricks by promising us things: “You’ve won $1 million!” Or, “Your bank account is going to be credited $3 million!” Do not believe any of these claims unless you’ve verified them yourself!
If your bank does end up calling you, always be sure to ask questions about their story in order to ensure that they are actually who they say they are. Better yet, when in doubt, simply hang up. It’s typically better to be safe than sorry when it comes to phone scams!