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How to Spot A Telephone Scam

How to Spot A Telephone Scam
Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

Although it would be nice to believe that there are only good people in the world, sadly, that is not always the case.  There are some people who make their living by scamming hard-working, innocent people. Telephone scams are incredibly prevalent, and some can be hard to spot.  Here are some signs to look out for a telephone scam. 

Are they calling from an unknown number?

Now that we receive and make most telephone calls on our mobile phones, we can almost always see the caller ID and wonder – “whose number is this calling me?” Some people will never answer numbers that they don’t have saved, which could lead to them missing out on important phone calls. However, it is important to be aware of numbers calling that you don’t recognize, and remember that sometimes scam calls can use number masking, where it looks as though they are calling from somewhere other than where they are. 

Is someone asking for your information?

For security, when we call to speak to our bank, energy supplier, or another important company, we have to give them some of our information. Therefore, it can feel quite natural to give out this information over the phone. That said, if someone has called you up, and without proving who they are, asked you a lot of personal information (full name, address, password, etc.), this is a red flag that something is not right and it may be a telephone scam. 

Are they being a little aggressive or pushy?

Scammers aren’t bothered about good customer service. If you start to seem hesitant or question them, you might notice that they become quite pushy, putting a lot of pressure on you to answer their questions in a way that would be unprofessional for someone who works for a bank. Some of them will become downright rude and start making threats, and by that point, you’ll know for sure! 

Would this company really call you?

As great as Apple’s customer service might be, would they really call you to let you know that you have a virus on your computer? No. They’re certainly not “watching” your computer to see if you have a hidden virus and then kindly calling you to let you know before encouraging you to download something to fix the issue – that’s certainly going to be malware! So think about the likelihood of the call being legitimate, and feel free to ask questions to work this out if you feel you need to. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

If you are ever worried that something doesn’t feel right with a phone call, it’s important to trust your gut instinct. If it’s right, you may have saved yourself a lot of stress and money, and if it’s wrong, at the worst, it might be a little awkward, but the person at the other end of the phone should understand why you want to be cautious. 

Featured Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash