Phone scams are become more and more popular and in 2018 reported scams rose by 25%. Victims of these phone scams are losing money because they are unaware of signs to look for.
The first step to becoming a less susceptible target is to be aware of the common types of phone scams.
- IRS Calls – This is one of the more common scams in which the scammer claims to be calling from the IRS to collect a penalty. Often times they will try to scare you with arrest claims. You should never accept these claims without proper verification from the IRS.
- Gift card phone scams – In these situations the scammers will typically reach out and ask you to buy something using a gift card. It’s best not to use gift cards over the phone in general especially if you are unsure about the situation.
- Warranty phone scams – Usually in these types of scams, the caller will claim that your insurance or warranty is about to lapse. They’ll ask for you to provide you with information about yourself including a collection of payment. Again, it’s never a good idea to give out this kind of information over the phone.
How to verify the number…
As an extra precautionary measure, you can use reverse phone call services such as Spokeo to lookup the personal information of a caller based on their phone number. While there are other things you can look for, this is one option if you are unsure whether or not you are being scammed.
Other things to look for…
If someone is requesting payment over the phone, you should tell them that you are not comfortable doing this. A lot of times, if it’s a scammer they will take you off their call list because they don’t want to waste their time with someone who won’t pay them their way. You should always refuse online payments and then verify the intent of the call by calling back the company that claims any allegations against you. Another option is to tell the caller that you would like them to send you an email with detailed information. You can then check out the email and see if the domain on the email matches the actual companies website. This is not fool-proof, since email addresses can be spoofed. However it’s a good precautionary measure.