Avoiding Telephone Scams and Breaches of Privacy

July 16, 2022

Although sometimes known as a problem for senior citizens, scammers can fool even the prepared. We’ll cover how to detect and avoid those pesky cons.

The Terrors of Getting Scammed

Telephone scammers are threats of deceit that plague our daily lives. From credit card scams to identity theft, these individuals target honest people that unknowingly fall victims to these types of crimes. They begin by trying to hook you into enticing offers, often claiming that you have been specially selected for a prize. Increasingly more threatening, are the pressures of the callers when notifying you of IRS claims or vehicle warranty expirations. These scammer’s goals are to steal your identity by collecting personal information or to take your money through a breach of privacy.

How to avoid phone scams (non-infographic)

Listed below are some common warning signs of a telephone scam or marketing scams to watch out for:

  • A claim of being Government representatives.
  • Use of high-pressure sales tactics and “limited-time” offers. Scammers often do not answer direct questions when probed.
  • May ask you to “confirm” personal information of yours, such as your social security number.
  • Can offer to send you money in the form of marketing scams to have you deposit a fake check into your account.
  • Additionally, can ask you to provide your home address, credit, or account numbers to request payment.
  • Use threats of arrest when faced with non-compliance.
  • Calls may begin with a prerecorded message.
  • Calls may have out-of-state locations.
  • Calls may also have your local area code as their number to further deceit.

The Different Ways Your Private Information Could Be Stolen By Telephone

Your private information is the ultimate target for these telephone scammers. With access to your information, they can extort your money and identity. Impersonation scams are the most common types of con. These scams involve the individual claiming a false identity to defraud you. These scammers use these calls as a breach of privacy.

Below are different types of impersonation scams that are a threat to your private information:

IRS Scam

Common during tax seasons, the scammer can threaten you with police consequences or deportation if you do not meet their demands. If you provide them with information such as your social security number or birth date, you will be a victim of identity theft.

Government Grant Scam

This type of scam involves the scammer claiming to be a government agent interested in offering free money, additional offering other false offers from the government. With any provided information, the scammer can clear your bank account of any funds.

Jury Duty Scam

Jury Duty scams are another scam involving the impersonation of government officials. In their deceit, these scammers threaten your arrest if you do not verify your identity.

Robocall Scams

Robocalls are pre-recorded messages in the form of automated voices. This type of scam is easier to spot, as their false claims are detectable and are usually marketing scams. These calls can be a nuisance and occur several times a week.

Warning Signs

It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of scammers to be better equipped to not fall victim to their crimes or become a successful target.

Below are some warning signs of scammers:

  • Strange cell phone numbers appear in different country codes.
  • Calls appear as “Unknown Caller”.
  • Improper speech or fluency of language.
  • Any requests for personally identifiable information.
  • Threats or warnings.
  • Claiming problems with your accounts or car.

What They Want

These scammers want access to your personal information to extort money or your identity. Scams are a high threat to individuals who are not well-informed enough to identify these criminals. If you are targeted, you should be prepared enough to recognize and resist their advances, as they are a threat to your livelihood and privacy.

How To Protect Yourself

Though the threat seems inescapable, as these scammers access many phone numbers, there are ways to protect yourself.

  • Know that you are not alone in the attempts of being targeted.
  • When answering your phone, a good approach is to be on the defensive end. It is important to stay calm and know that you are in a position of control. This can help to combat the stress that can arise when scammers threaten you.
  • With more knowledge, individuals can stay informed, and learn how to recognize scammers to not entertain any of their advances.

Withholding Personal Information

Under no circumstance give out your personal information to these types of callers. Withholding your information is the most effective combative option against these calls. If you do not provide these scammers with any information, they cannot succeed in targeting you. They will be unable to extort anything from you to further their plans of theft. Resist any pressures to answer their questions and hang up if you have any suspicions, these individuals are not the people they claim, and there will be no consequence if you hang up. If you have any doubts, talk to someone you know, this can help you to confirm the validity of the calls.

Blocking Phone Numbers

Another way to combat these calls or text messages is to block them as you receive them. Their contact is a breach of personal privacy and blocking their numbers will effectively stop their one phone number from contacting you further and force them to use a new line to call you.

Renting a Separate Telephone Number

Though these numbers are less popular amongst the masses, they are extremely effective and work just as well as traditional phone numbers. Benefits of renting a separate telephone number include extra security, a hidden location, and the separation from your own private number. Most importantly, using a rented phone number can protect your personal number from scammers and other potential threats.

Although even the knowledgeable can be deceived, these tips and tricks should help you to steer clear of any unwanted scams or trickery. Along with blocking numbers, renting a number has been slowly rising in popularity as a surefire way to separate your personal life from the outside world. With trusted providers such as Tardigrada.io, protecting yourself has never been so simple and cost-effective.