Phone scams have become a commonplace threat. They can target folk from all walks of life. People tend to drop their guard. They stop being vigilant. However, the stakes are high every time, considering the scammers aim for nothing less than full financial details – they might even be able t coax out as much info as is needed to achieve identity theft. Even the least they are able to do would be damage enough. How to avoid phone scans has to be on top of everyone’s agenda.
A few habits will take care of the likelihood of phone scams eventuating. First, there’s the blocking of calls. Good, but not good enough. It is challenging to forecast the guises in which scammers will strike. So, much like first ais after an insect bite, you will have to know in advance what your line of action will be – after their first intimation introduces poison to your ears.
There’s some truth to the assertion that more than half of all scams begin with a phone call.
Scams targeting your ties with your building society or your bank
You might be called by a person purporting to be from your bank, saying that a fraud has been visited upon your bank account. The next thing he will do s ask for account-related details ‘to handle the crisis with the account’. This person may also tell you that your funds are in such danger they ought to be shifted to some other account.
You should wait for twenty minutes. Scammers are inventive enough to keep phone lines open. You could end up talking to them, believing their lie that they are the bank. To get them off scent, you should dial someone not connected with this developing situation.
Things are sometimes not what they appear to be
Remember, scammers are able to replicate logos or official numbers, leading you to think they are a legitimate caller. They could make the official bank number appear on your display screen. Listen to their logic – and when that sounds fishy, give the scammers the widest berth.
Fixated on your computer
Another likely scam could be a purported representative of well-known software firm calling you to say your system is infected and they need remote access to fix it. Once they access your system, they will make away with your online banking details. Or just add your identity details to their collection, aiming to impersonate you somewhere.
Investment and pension scams
Someone might call you, saying there’s tax overdue and you will be penalized unless you follow certain steps. Official intimations are never like this. They do not ask for account details, personal and financial details. They do not pressurize you over the phone into submitting details that are central to your identity and well being .
You can, from another phone –since he could be listening – call the caller’s purported office, and seek confirmation on if such and such works there. That would let the cat out of the bag!
It would be sensible to join the CIFAS. A premier fraud prevention organization, CIFAS handles the largest database on scamming in the entire nation. There are individual and organizational members from various sectors. When you imagine CIFAS’s range, you realize that people and professionals from all walks of life are your colleagues. This gives the measures they hand over to you tremendous preventative force.
CIFAS preventive registration
Your guarantee against impersonation, the CIFAS preventive registration would ensure that all pertinent details of your identity are entered into the CIFAS database. When a scammer tries to impersonate you, the recipient organization – likely a CIFAS member – will match the submitted application with the database. You will be intimated that someone is trying to enter/access a position using your details. At this point, putting the scammer in the dock would be quite an easy task.
The Telephone Preference Service
The opt-out service enables you to evade nuisance calls. Registration is free and swift. In addition, unsolicited live sales and marketing calls will not be able to call your number, thanks to the TPS registration.
However, you will need sterner stuff to stop phone scam calls, since TPS stops only nuisance calls.
Information Commissioner’s Office
The ICO’s stated policy is to uphold information rights in the public interest. Accordingly, the office collates information about organizations, and ifv these are deemed root of serious offense, enforcement action is taken against them.
This is the country’s top agency when it comes to preventative measures against phone scams. When you wish to ascertain if certain call was genuine and not a scam, feel free to call Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040.
There are a number of agencies that could help you take a clear line of action. The best preventive measure, actually, is separating bad logic from sound one. Scammers are clever, only if you give them half a chance. No official call coerces, threatens, or is overly urgent. And when they ask you for personal details over the phone – they give their game away!