According to researchers, nearly half of all calls made are scams. So by now, you’ve probably realized by now that you can’t trust every call you pick up.
In fact, you shouldn’t trust any call these days.
Even ones coming from your own area code, now that Caller ID spoofing is so easy. Scammers can easily call you from the other side of the world, while making the Caller ID look like it’s from your next-door neighbor.
One of the worst scams of 2018 was the personal information phishing scam. Here’s how it works:
A caller pretends to be from a reputable company, possibly one that you really do have an account with. Most of time, they choose insurance companies.
At first, you may think the call is legit, since all they’re asking is that you verify your personal information for their records.
However, remember that most companies don’t call asking you to verify information. You may be asked to verify your identity if YOU call a company first, but normally it’s not the other way around.
In fact, calling each customer personally is too time-consuming and costly for most companies, so if they really need to verify your information, they’ll send you something automated, like an e-mail.
Therefore, if the caller is asking you to confirm your name, birthdate, or social security number, don’t assume that just because they already have that information, that they obtained it legally.
Tell them instead that you’ll call the company yourself, directly, to confirm any information they may need. If they try to give you another number to call, do not call it, as it will lead you to yet another scammer.
Be aware that many scammers will use fear tactics to get you to comply.
Most of them will start by telling you things like “your insurance could be canceled” and then eventually hurl threats like, “you could get arrested.” Take that as yet more proof that you’ve been called by a scammer.
Remember, there are several ways you can stay safe and protect yourself against scam calls. Besides protecting your personal information, you can:
Register your number on the Do Not Call List. Although criminals do not heed this list, being on it may keep certain telemarketers and businesses from contacting you.
Install a call-blocking app. Call control offers protection from unwanted calls to cell phones with the Call Control app, and protection for landlines with the Call Control Home system.