Phone scams can be costly and stressful for victims, so it’s important to be aware of the various types of scams that exist and how to protect yourself.
Here are some common phone scams to be aware of:
The “One Ring” scam
You receive a call from an unfamiliar number, and the call disconnects after one or two rings. You may be tempted to call back, but doing so can result in significant charges on your phone bill. This is because the number you are calling is actually a premium rate number, and the scammer is attempting to get you to call back and rack up charges.
The “Phishing” scam
You receive a call or text message from someone claiming to be from a legitimate company, such as your bank or credit card company. The scammer may ask for your personal information or login details or try to get you to click on a link to download malware.
The “Robocall” scam
You receive an automated call claiming to be from a government agency or other legitimate organization, offering a free service or asking for a donation. These calls are often illegal and can be used to collect personal information or steal money.
The “Technical support” scam
You receive a call from someone claiming to be a technical support representative, stating that there is a problem with your computer or phone and offering to help you fix it. The scammer may ask for remote access to your device or ask you to download software, which can give them access to your personal information.
The “Lottery” or “Sweepstakes” scam
You receive a call or letter claiming that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes, but you must pay a fee to claim your prize. These scams are often run by organized crime groups and are used to collect money from victims.
The “Grandparent” scam
You receive a call from someone claiming to be a relative, stating that they are in trouble and need money. These scammers often target elderly individuals and may use personal information obtained from social media to make the call seem legitimate.
To protect yourself from phone scams, it’s important to be cautious when receiving calls from unfamiliar numbers or when someone asks for your personal information.
Here are some tips to help you avoid phone scams:
- Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. If you do answer, don’t provide any personal information or agree to any offers.
- If you receive a call from a legitimate company, hang up and call the company back using a phone number you know to be legitimate.
- Don’t click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
- Be wary of “too good to be true” offers or requests for money.
- If you receive a call or letter claiming that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes, verify the legitimacy of the company before sending any money.
- If you receive a call from a relative claiming to be in trouble and needing money, try to verify their location and the situation before sending any money.
By following these tips and being aware of the common phone scams, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from falling victim to these types of scams.
How can I stop phone scams?
There are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to a phone scam:
- Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers: If you receive a call from an unfamiliar number, it’s best not to answer it. Scammers often use caller ID spoofing to make it appear as though the call is coming from a legitimate source.
- Don’t provide personal information: If you do answer a call from an unfamiliar number, do not provide any personal information, such as your name, address, or financial information.
- Don’t agree to offers or requests for money: Be cautious of “too good to be true” offers or requests for money. Scammers often try to pressure or intimidate victims into agreeing to their demands.
- Verify the legitimacy of the caller: If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a legitimate company, hang up and call the company back using a phone number you know to be legitimate.
- Use caller ID blocking: Some phone carriers offer caller ID blocking services that can help prevent scammers from reaching you.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry: This registry is designed to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls. You can register your phone number for free at donotcall.gov.
Phone Scam Blacklist
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A phone scam is a fraudulent scheme in which a scammer attempts to obtain personal information or money from a victim over the phone.
It can be difficult to determine if a call is a scam, but there are some signs to look out for. Scammers may use high-pressure tactics or try to rush you into making a decision. They may also ask for personal information or money upfront.
Phone scammers may try to convince you that they need access to your phone or computer in order to fix a problem, but this is often a tactic to gain access to your personal information. It’s important to be cautious when someone asks for remote access to your device.
To protect yourself from phone scams, it’s important to be cautious when receiving calls from unfamiliar numbers or when someone asks for your personal information. Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers, don’t provide personal information, and be wary of “too good to be true” offers or requests for money.
If you receive a scam call, hang up immediately. Do not provide any personal information or agree to any offers. If you have already provided personal information or sent money, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftc.gov/complaint.
Yes, you can block phone scams by using caller ID blocking services offered by your phone carrier or by registering your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov.
If you have fallen victim to a phone scam, report the scam to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You should also contact your bank or credit card company to report any unauthorized charges and to request a new card if necessary.
There are many resources available to help you learn more about phone scams and how to protect yourself. You can visit the FTC’s website at ftc.gov for more information, or you can speak with your phone carrier or a trusted family member or friend for additional tips and guidance.
Phone scammers may use a variety of tactics to obtain personal information, including phishing, pretexting, and social engineering. They may also use information obtained from social media or data breaches to make the scam seem more legitimate.
Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.
There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.