Scammers have been using phone calls to steal personal information for many years. However, their tactics are constantly evolving to make them seem more genuine, and COVID-19 has only given them more opportunity to find unsuspecting victims.
It’s important to be careful when receiving phone calls from suspicious numbers. Adhering to the following tips will ensure you remain protected if you receive a scam call.
Never Share Personal Information
You should never give your bank account information, credit or debit card numbers, or any other personal information to someone over the phone. Callers may use creative ways to try to get this information out of you like offering a small processing payment for a free vacation or pretending to collect on a late medical bill. No matter their reason for asking for the information, never share it with them.
Do Not Give into “Immediate Action”
Callers will often try to put you in situations where you feel you must act immediately. Some common tactics are pretending your identity and/or social security number has been stolen or your car’s warranty has expired. Do not give into these scams as they are only trying to capitalize on the unnecessary fear they have created.
Be Aware of the “Can You Hear Me?” Scam
Do not say “yes” if the caller starts by asking, “Can you hear me?” This tactic is commonly used to record your response. Scammers will then claim that “yes” as proof for a purchase. If you hear this question immediately, hang up.
Register with the National Do Not Call Registry
The Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry gives consumers the choice to receive telemarketing calls. Once your phone is registered, you may still receive calls from charities, debt collectors, political groups, or surveys. However, telemarketing calls should come to an end. If an unwanted call is received after registration, you can report it.