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Tips To Help You Detect and Avoid Phone Scams

How to avoid phone scams

By Chibuike OdualiPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Tips To Help You Detect and Avoid Phone Scams
Photo by Lindsey LaMont on Unsplash

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, and it can be difficult to detect a scam when it comes to your phone. However, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and avoid falling victim to a scam.

1. Be wary of unsolicited calls or texts: Scammers often use automated systems to place calls or send texts to large numbers of people. If you receive a call or text from an unknown number, be cautious. If the call or text is from a number you don't recognize, don't answer it. If it's important, the caller will leave a message. If you do answer the call, be wary of any urgent or high-pressure tactics. Scammers may try to rush you into making a decision or providing personal information.

2. Don't provide personal information over the phone or through text: Never provide personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card information, or bank account information to anyone over the phone or through text. Scammers may ask for this information under the guise of needing it to verify your identity or process a transaction. Legitimate companies and organizations will not ask for this information over the phone or through text.

3. Watch out for high-pressure tactics: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to make you act quickly without thinking. They may tell you that you need to act immediately to avoid a penalty or that you have won a prize but need to provide personal information to claim it. If someone is pressuring you to take action, be suspicious.

4. Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true: Scammers often use false promises to lure people into a scam. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be especially wary of offers that come out of the blue, like an unsolicited call or text message.

5. Research the company or individual before doing business with them: Before you do business with any company or individual, research them online. Look for reviews or complaints about them. If you can't find any information about them, be suspicious.

6. Don't click on links or download attachments from unknown sources: Scammers may use links or attachments to download malware or steal personal information. Be suspicious of any links or attachments that come from unknown sources.

7. Keep your phone software updated: Keeping your phone software updated can help protect you against malware and other security threats. Make sure you are running the latest version of your phone's operating system.

8. Be cautious of caller ID spoofing: Scammers can use technology to make it appear that they are calling from a legitimate number. If you receive a call from a number that you don't recognize, be cautious. Ask for the caller's name and company, and research the number online. If it's a scam, you may find warning signs or complaints.

9. Use anti-virus and anti-malware software: It is a good practice to install anti-virus and anti-malware software on your phone to prevent malware infections. This software can detect and remove any malicious software that may be present on your device.

10. Use two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an additional layer of security that requires a second form of authentication, such as a code sent to your phone, to access your account. This added security measure makes it much harder for scammers to gain access to your personal information.

11. Be aware of common scam tactics: Scammers use a variety of tactics to trick you into giving them personal information or money. Be aware of common scams such as the "grandparent scam" (where scammers pretend to be your grandchild in need of money), the "IRS scam" (where scammers pretend to be from the IRS and demand payment for back taxes), and the "tech support scam" (where scammers claim to be from a tech company and try to convince you to give them remote access to your computer).

12. Use caller ID blocking and call-blocking apps: These apps can help you block unwanted calls and texts from scammers. Some apps also allow you to report a number as a scam.

13. Be careful when responding to robocalls: Robocalls are automated calls that can be used to deliver pre-recorded messages or make live calls. Be cautious of any robocalls that ask you to press a button or speak to a live person to be removed from the call list.

14. Check your phone bill for unauthorized charges: Scammers may use your phone number to make unauthorized charges to your account. Review your phone bill regularly and contact your phone company if you notice any suspicious charges.

15. Be wary of unknown numbers that ask you to call back: Scammers may call you and hang up, hoping you will call back and be charged for a premium or international call. Don't call back numbers you don't recognize.

16. Don't trust caller ID: Scammers can use technology to make it appear that they are calling from a legitimate number, such as a government agency or a well-known company. Don't trust caller ID, and always verify the identity of the caller before giving out any personal information.

17. Don't wire money or send prepaid debit cards: Scammers often ask for payment through wire transfers or prepaid debit cards. These methods of payment are difficult to trace, and once the money is sent, it is usually impossible to get it back.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from scams on your phone. Remember to stay vigilant and always be skeptical of unsolicited calls or texts. If something seems off, trust your instincts and hang up the phone.

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About the Creator

Chibuike Oduali

I am an engineer, a business coach and a copywriter.

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