Don’t you just hate unwanted phone calls? We all wish these calls would just stop and let us live our lives peacefully. Because of these calls, we’ve learned over time to stop picking up the phone. These unwanted calls have a goal in mind: to get information out of you and scam you. They could entice you with a free vacation or scare you into thinking that a loved one has been kidnapped. They could even intimidate you into paying taxes over the phone.
There are many scams that an average person might fall for. There’s the grandparents' scam where callers trick older people into thinking that their grandchild is in trouble and in need of money. They may also trick you into thinking you won a free cruise trip or flight, when in fact they want to get your credit card details so you can get the freebie. There are even fraudsters who would take advantage of a national disaster and ask you to donate to their cause, but is actually fake.
When you think that you’re getting a fake phone call, keep these tips in mind:
Say no to unknown numbers
While our instinct tells us to answer the phone when it rings, hang up immediately if you don’t recognize the number. If your phone has caller ID, you can’t entirely rely on this. Sometimes, phone numbers get spoofed. Spoofing is when the caller disguises themselves to be someone trustworthy.
Never give out sensitive information
You may be in the middle of the phone call before you realize that you’re getting scammed. Be mindful enough to never give out sensitive information such as bank account numbers, passwords, or other details when the caller asks for these. If possible, refrain from answering questions and keep a calm demeanor if the caller pressures you for information.
If you find that the caller is pressuring you for payments immediately, don’t grab your wallet. Remember, the more they sound threatening, the more likely they’re trying to scam you. If this happens, hang up as soon as possible. Take a deep breath and don’t let their intimidation get to you.
Double-check their information
Say someone with a 03 phone number calls and they claim to be calling from an organization you support, or a government agency. Depending on your location and if this seems suspicious, hang up and call the organization’s number to verify the call. Usually, these organizations would send notice prior to calling you.
Consider call blocking tools
Nowadays, there are call-blocking apps on smartphones that you can download. Get them on your phone to block unwanted phone calls. You can also talk to your phone service provider about the call-blocking tools they have.
Just hang up
If you feel very suspicious about the caller, the best thing to do is hang up. No conversation, no engagement, no room for them to scare, intimidate, or lure you.
Report to the authorities and raise awareness
Take note of the phone number and the details of the call, and file a report to the authorities. There are many local government units that may help you prevent these calls in the future. Consider talking to your friends and family about these unwanted phone calls to raise awareness.
Getting scammed is not fun. But if you’re alert and your gut tells you that there’s something suspicious about the phone call, hang up and protect yourself from fraudsters.