Most of us get an “unknown caller” or a robo call on a daily basis. Below are some simple tips in dealing with phone scams.
National Do Not Call Registry
Register your number with: https://donotcall.gov/
This registry is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency. It was created to help consumers stop unwanted calls. You can register your home or mobile number for free. More information
Caller ID Spoofing
Caller ID is the name you see when you receive a phone call. This name can easily be changed to display anything. Along with the name, scammers can also change the phone number that is calling. This is very common when you get a call from a number with the same area code and prefix. Do not answer calls from unknown numbers.
If you answer a call and get a message to press a number to talk to a live operator, it is probably a scam. These messages will typically ask you to hit a button to stop getting these calls, you should just hang up. Any button pressed is used to identify you as a potential target.
Never Tell Them Your Name
Always ask who they are trying to speak with. Have them provide your first and last name before continuing. If they can’t, hang up. Even if they do know your name, that doesn’t mean they are not trying to scam you.
Verify your account information
If the caller claims to be from a company you do business with, then have them provide you with your account information. That should be a quick and easy step for them since they should have pulled up your account to call your phone number, that is if they are legitimate. Again, if they can’t tell you, hang up.
Do not provide any information
If a legitimate company is calling you, they will already have all the details about you and your account. You should not have to provide any information to them. If they ask questions about computer usage, household members, or any other services you pay for, this should alert you to the possibility that this is a scammer.
Fake support calls
Big companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, PayPal, Amazon will never call you. If you get one of these calls, hang up immediately.
Too good to be true offers or prizes
Calls claiming you have won something or have a “once in a lifetime offer” are trying to scam you. These types of calls have been around for many years. Hang up.
Unexpected calls from the Social Security Office, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or any other government agency should be suspect. All government offices will send you notices by mail. They do not call you direct. More Info
As you can see, the best option is always to hang up. If you have any doubt, that is your signal to hang up. If you think it may be real, then you can look up the official contact information from the company’s website and call back. Otherwise, HANG UP!