With the increasing prevalence of technology and widespread use of smartphones, scam calls have become an everyday occurrence. Scammers, attempting to steal personal information or money from unsuspecting individuals, make these calls. Recently, there has been a surge in the number of scam calls, with scammers using new tactics to deceive their targets. In this article, we will discuss how to spot scam calls and how to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams.
What are scam calls?
Scam calls are fraudulent phone calls made by individuals or organizations attempting to deceive the person on the other end of the line. The goal of these calls is usually to obtain money or personal information such as passwords, bank account details, or social security numbers. Scammers may pose as government officials, financial institutions, or even family members in order to gain the trust of their targets.
How to spot a scam calls?
Scammers use a variety of tactics to deceive their targets, but there are some common warning signs to look out for:
- The caller claims to be from a government agency or financial institution but is asking for personal information such as social security numbers or bank account details. Legitimate organizations would not ask for this information over the phone.
- The caller is using high-pressure tactics, such as threatening legal action if the person does not comply with their demands.
- The caller asks for payment in an unusual way, such as gift cards or cryptocurrency. Legitimate organizations would not request payment in this way.
- The caller is offering something that seems too good to be true, such as a free vacation or a large sum of money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- The caller does not identify themselves or the organization they are calling from.
Recent news regarding scam calls
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a warning about a new type of scam call known as the “One Ring” scam. In this scam, scammers will call a person’s phone but hang up after only one ring. The goal of the scam is to entice the person to call the number back, which will result in the person being charged a premium rate for the call.
Additionally, scammers have capitalized on the COVID-19 pandemic by posing as health officials or offering fake vaccines in an attempt to steal personal information or money from their targets. It is important to remember that legitimate health officials or organizations would not ask for payment or personal information over the phone.
How to protect yourself from scam calls?
To protect yourself from scam calls, follow these tips:
- Do not give out personal information over the phone.
- Hang up on any calls that use high-pressure tactics or ask for payment in an unusual way.
- Do not call back any numbers that you do not recognize.
- Use call blocking features on your smartphone to block known scam numbers.
- Be cautious of any offers that seem too good to be true.
Can you permanently block scam calls?
In conclusion, scam calls are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, and it is important to remain vigilant. Follow the tips outlined in this article to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. If you do receive a scam call, report it to the appropriate authorities such as the FCC or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
While it’s not possible to permanently block scam calls, there are measures that can help to minimize their frequency. One option is to utilize call-blocking tools available on your smartphone or through your phone service provider. Many modern smartphones have built-in features that let you block calls from specific numbers or even entire area codes. Additionally, some phone companies provide call-blocking services, either for a fee or free of charge.
Another way to reduce unwanted calls is to enroll in the National Do Not Call Registry, which is administered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This registry prohibits telemarketers from contacting numbers on the list, including scammers posing as telemarketers. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that some categories of calls are still allowed even if you are on the Do Not Call list, such as calls from political organizations, charities, and surveys.
It’s vital to note that scammers are constantly changing their tactics and using new phone numbers to make calls. Therefore, no method of blocking scam calls is entirely full proof. It’s important to remain cautious and avoid engaging with scammers if you receive a call.
Ways to Stop scam calls on an Android device
- Built-in call blocking features: Many Android smartphones come with built-in call-blocking features that can block calls from specific phone numbers or even entire area codes. You can access these features by going to the phone’s call settings and selecting the option to block calls.
- Call blocking apps: There are several third-party call-blocking apps available on the Google Play Store that can help you block unwanted calls. These apps can identify and block known scam numbers and provide additional features such as blocking calls from unknown or private numbers.
- Do Not Disturb mode: Activating the Do Not Disturb mode on your Android device can prevent scam calls from disturbing you. This mode silences all calls and notifications except for those from specific contacts that you’ve designated as “favorites” or “VIPs.”
- National Do Not Call Registry: Signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry can prohibit telemarketers from contacting your phone number, including scammers posing as telemarketers. You can sign up by visiting the registry’s website and entering your phone number.
- Third-party call screening apps: Some Android devices come with a built-in call screening feature that lets you view information about a caller before answering the call. If your device doesn’t have this feature, you can download a third-party call screening app that provides similar functionality.
Ways to Stop scam calls on an iPhone
- Use built-in call blocking features: iPhones have a feature called “Silence Unknown Callers” that blocks calls from numbers that are not in your contacts list. To activate this feature, go to Settings > Phone and turn on Silence Unknown Callers. Additionally, you can add specific numbers to your blocked list by going to Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification and adding numbers to the block list.
- Download call blocking apps: There are many third-party apps available on the App Store that can help block unwanted calls. Some popular options include Truecaller, RoboKiller, and Hiya. These apps use databases of known scam numbers to block calls before they even reach your phone.
- Do not answer unknown calls: If you receive a call from an unknown number, it’s best to let it go to voicemail. Scammers often use spoofed numbers to make their calls appear legitimate, so it’s important to be cautious when answering calls from unfamiliar numbers.
- Report scam calls: If you receive a scam call, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Reporting these calls helps to build a database of known scam numbers, which can be used to block future calls.
In conclusion, as technology and smartphones have become increasingly prevalent, scam calls have also become more common. It is crucial to stay alert and recognize the warning signs of potential scam calls, such as requests for personal information or payment in unusual ways and high-pressure tactics. Utilizing call-blocking features and practicing good phone security can help prevent falling victim to phone scams. Reporting any suspicious calls to the appropriate authorities is also important to prevent future individuals from being targeted.