For almost a decade now, one of the most frustrating scam that is still causing havoc to the public are the Phone Scams. Telemarketing fraud is a big problem and sadly, the internet is making it easier for the crooks to gather details of the victims quickly and efficiently.
FTC and many other authorities have done their part when it comes to raising awareness, but the data suggests that the campaign hasn’t been a hit and that’s part of the problem. In this article, we are going to cover the basic operational model of Phone scams so that you understand what to look for?
If you ever feel uncomfortable talking with an unknown entity, then immediately check the source and if you cannot find it, use the contact form on our site. We will do a thorough analysis and get back to you with the details as quickly as possible.
How does the Phone Scams Work?
The internet has opened the world to a lot of opportunities, but sadly, the threats will always be present and that’s just the way it works. Crooks collect the data of the victim’s number by either purchasing the list from the dark web or other shady sources.
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Once they have the list ready, they will start calling the users and they typically pretend to be someone from the government agencies, big brands or the bank. Their ultimate goal is to make the person on the other end hand over their confidential details which they can use for a lot of sinister purposes.
Phone Scams are so common nowadays and according to many sources, it is estimated that more than tens of millions of dollars are lost to this kind of hustle alone. The kind of figures the crooks are making proves that this is a big concern and anyone can fall for the trap if they do not know the way it works.
For your own safety, it is always better to be aware of the gimmicks used by the scammers. Remember, they might change their script from time to time. However, the underlying patterns will always be the same.
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Warning Signs of Phone Scams
Thanks to the kind of data we have collected and analysed over the years, we have a pretty good understanding about the warning signs of phone scams. Below, we have made a detailed list of the things to look out for.
Keep in mind that things may not be straightforward with the crooks, but ultimately they will have to follow the pattern which will cause the victims nothing more than disappointment and damage. If you have decent experience when it comes to knowing the way telemarketing works then for the most part you are safe. Nonetheless, it never hurts to brush up your knowledge every once in a while.
Asking for Personal Details
This is the first and foremost thing every scammer will do. As soon as they call you, regardless of the kind of mimicking done by them, they will try to gather your details. Their intention is to build a profile and ask for basic questions which in turn will help trace everything they need to know about you.
Legitimate organisations will never ask you to verify your details or ask for your social security number because they do not need that kind of information. If you are asked to verify your name or input your address, then most likely it is a form of phishing attack and you should never respond to it.
Remember, the more details you give them, the more ways they can find to cause harm to you. In case, if you have already shared the information, then contact your local law enforcement authorities and ask them for further instructions.
We would strongly suggest you to use 2 FA login format for all your banking apps and never ever share your OTP with a third party. Bear in mind that no one is authorised to ask for your login credential and their associated details and if anyone disagrees then they are trying to cheat you.
Phone Scams and Finances
Due to the way the internet works and the advance of the unregulated crypto market, telemarketers pushing fraudulent investment offers are on the rise. If you are ever contacted by someone that claims to offer you an amazing once in a lifetime investment opportunity, then be cautious.
Crooks usually will have very convincing and interesting narratives and background stories. They truly know how to relate with their audience and it goes without mentioning that they are not afraid to lie.
Automated account management or trading bots are the normal hot words used by the scammers and typically for obvious reasons, they won’t offer any proof. As a rule of thumb, do not interact with unregulated companies and if an offshore entity contacts you, it is best not to give them any attention. After all, prevention is better than cure every single time, right?
Marketing is something which every company has to do. However, when the big giants run promotions, they never contact their user base personally. Most of the communication is going to be via email and social media platforms. Unless you are a celebrity, you will never be contacted directly.
Reputable brands do sponsor a lot of people and they sometimes run aggressive promotions and give away freebies. Nonetheless, this kind of activities conducted by top firms will only be active for a short period of time and they follow the guidelines set by law firmly.
If you are contacted by strangers claiming to offer you a heavy bargain or free goods, then do not be pleased. Check their source and ask them for additional details. Legit offers will deliver the goods to you for free and will never ask for a fee. If the caller starts demanding payment, then it is time to move on and accept the reality that you might be dealing with a fraudster.
Charities and Noble causes
The pandemic has given our generation the best reality check. Many people lost jobs and a significant portion of the population is not able to handle the aftermath of the lockdowns. A lot of institutions are doing their best to help the affected people and the public is also doing their bit.
Sadly, the crooks are taking advantage of the situation and as always are trying to make money with it. If you receive any call asking you to make a donation, then do not share your account information instead cut the interaction and visit their physical office.
Also, remember to do a thorough background check before giving money to any institutions. On the bright side, there may be certain tax exemptions applicable for the contribution you make.
Whenever you get a call from a firm you have never heard of, then you can be sure of one thing, there is definitely something fishy going on. Scammers love to come up with a reason or an excuse to get in touch with you. Some of the devastating phishing attacks had employed simple narratives and they were highly efficient.
As soon as you get a ring from an unknown number, run it through the FCA blacklist and telephone registry. If the number matches, then report it and block the caller so that they won’t be able to reach you again any time soon.
As the technology is rapidly advancing, few skilled scammers have delegated their part. They set up automated calls and just input the numbers through computers. Their goal is to maintain anonymity and they do so by carefully covering up their tracks along the way. If you encounter robo calls, then do not follow any of the instructions it says.
They might trick you into clicking specific buttons or in some cases they might ask you to input a few details, but do not comply. To be on the safer side, install a few blocking apps and regularly update your block list. Check FCA registry to find blacklisted numbers.
Alternatively, register yourself to the email list of FCA to keep yourself updated. Some crooks are very persistent and they might find intuitive ways to keep on pestering you. If you feel like you are being targeted, then contact the help line of the FCA and raise a formal complaint. Informing your local law enforcement authorities might also work in your favour.
Phone Scams Precautionary Steps
As Phone Scams are sneaky in nature and cannot be detected most of the time before disaster occurs, it is better to take precautionary steps. Read the following points carefully and it will help you detect the threats in time and more importantly, it will show you exactly the things to look out for.
Check the Source
Receiving a call saying that you have received some reward or an exciting paid trip to your favorite destination might sound enticing, but do not let your enthusiasm blind you. Ask the caller for the details and be practical in your approach. If you get vague answers and too good to be true offers, then contact the higher ups and verify everything.
Reputable firms do offer good deals, but they will never ask for a fee or other details. So, be conservative in your approach and if you sense awkwardness, then contacting the law enforcement authorities is never a bad idea. Safety is the number one priority and you should never tolerate anything that might expose you to risk.
Ask for details
Scammers usually will create a perfect background story and they will play their part confidently. However, if you start asking other relevant questions and make them steer away from the script, you can to a certain extent detect the uneasiness.
For example, if the caller claims to be a representative of a government agency, then ask them to prove it. Any public servant should reveal their details and for the most part, it should be relatively easy to verify the information. If you hit a dead end while trying to trace their identity, then it is not worth it to proceed with them.
Never reveal account information
This point cannot be stressed enough. No legitimate authority will ask you for your account details or login credentials. Crooks that are experienced in sales might ask the same question in different ways and might try to trick you into revealing information.
For starters, they might throw in some details about you to gain your trust and project themselves like the real deal. Nonetheless, never let the situation overwhelm you. Crooks love to create a sense of urgency to justify their bold requests. So, be patient and regardless of how well they might handle your objections, do not feed them anything.
Record the Call
In most cases, the scammers will leave some kind of a clue. Humans are far from perfect and the flaws will help trace the real identity of the cyber criminals. So, everytime you are not sure whether you are dealing with genuine party, record the conversation and it might turn into a lifesaver.
Typically, the crooks will do a good job of hiding their whereabouts. Thankfully, the current tools available are more than capable of tracing the source and anyone with enough technical expertise can trace it for you. The only catch is, you need to act fast or else the fraudsters have more time to slide away from the crime scene.
How to Report Phone Scams
Unfortunately, there is no dedicated platform in every country to report Phone scams. If you live in the Western hemisphere, then you are in luck. The FCA attends to these kinds of issues and if the matter is more serious, then you have to get the local cyber security unit involved.
Note down the numbers and record the conversation if possible. As it is easy to get new phone lines, chances are scammers might simply move on to the next target. Nonetheless, reporting the incident is a good thing and it certainly helps the authorities to build a solid database. As long as you have not shared any confidential information, severe damage is not going to unfold.
Sometimes due to the sheer number of complaints received, the law enforcement authorities may not be able to act on every individual case. Raising your voice and posting on social media forums and related niches might raise awareness, but it may not be fully beneficial to you especially if you are a victim.
Moreover, not everyone will have enough skills to track the crooks on their own. In the kind of situations mentioned above, it is best to hire a recovery agency and let the trained professionals do their job. Reputable recovery agencies will not only offer you a free consultation, but will also guide you through all the formalities and legalities present.
They will help you build up a solid case and provide you with actionable intelligence. The data collected by them will be admissible in the court and the efforts should clearly speak for itself. Flow of funds are pretty easy to trace due to current accounting standards. Unfortunately, no firm will ever have a 100% success rate.
So, know the metrics beforehand and deal with the ones that follow high moral and ethical values. Get in touch with our team via the contact form. Our staff will help you identify the problem, show you the legal options applicable for your case and enlighten you about the real odds of successful recovery.
The best part is all of our services are free and we are on a mission to put an end to online scams. Additionally, if you have any questions, leave them below and we will get back to you at the earliest.
Phone Scams, credit card frauds and online threats are unfortunately always evolving. The technological advancements can be used in any way and to put a hard stop to these kinds of activities is something everyone dreams of.
While these kinds of hustles are still targeting and looting millions of people around the world, the best way to deal with this problem is to raise awareness about it. If everyone gets educated about the ways to deal with them, then the cases have to drop and eventually, this trend has to die.
Help us spread the message by sharing this post with your friends and family. Lastly, if you are not sure of any new firm or entity, use the case assessment form on our website and input a few basic details. We will do a thorough analysis and publish a review so that you do not have to risk anything.