Close to half of all scams begin with a phone call. This is indeed a wide-ranging topic, showing phone calls have connected scammers to potential victims like nothing else. Were it not for phone calls, scammers would really be all at sea. Accordingly, the thankfully large number of concerned agencies, and even volunteer organisations, all have something to say on the subject. In addition, there’s invariably some advice on phone scams from all over.How to protect yourself from phone scams that rightfully shouts for your attention.
Sundry phone scams: a general overview
Let’s begin by taking a gander at some of the commonest phone scams.
Bank & building society scams
These scams generally involve a scammer purporting to be from your bank calling you to inform you of your having been scammed. Inevitably, there are variations around this theme. He could well ask you for your vital bank details to worm his way into your account. He might also go for identity theft. What’s more, he may inform you of there being a bad egg among the staffers at your bank branch, adding that he wished on the bank’s behalf to lay a trap for that official – with your aid. Finally, getting closer home, he may insist you move your funds to a safe account since the said corruptor has taken over your account.
The right course of action for you
You ought to tarry for some 20 minutes prior to calling your bank on a number given on their website to get some clarification on this intimation. Scammers keep phone lines open – unfortunately. So even as you think you are making a new call, the scammer is still on the line pretending to be some other bank official or even the police. Using a different phone would be nifty. You may also call somebody not related to this imbroglio in the meantime.
Computer software scams
Scammers may call you purporting to be from a famous software company, informing you of the problem burgeoning in your computer. They might ask you permission to let them work on your system via remote access. There are myriad possibilities here for the scammers. They have your system’s security in the palm of their hands. They can have their way with your security. After committing identity theft, pilfering copiously from our online baking account, installing malware on your system, they will make themselves scarce.
Investment & pension scams
Scammers call, presenting you with the chance to purchase share sales, land banking, carbon credits, wine investments, diamonds and gemstones, and rare metals. Someone might also contact you with a phone call, purporting to advise about pension loans. Yet another audacious group of scammers might call you, informing you they are from the HMRC or immigration authorities. They could tell you that unless you pay a certain amount of tax, you would be arrested.
Protecting yourself from phone scams
The above is just the trailer. There’s an entire potential movie detailing the wide-ranging devilish ingenuity of scammers worming their way into your life thru a phone call. Though this starts abruptly, the pace is really fast, and by the time you can collect your wits – you are all at sea. So, it definitely pays big bucks to get your response sorted.
Preventing smartphone identity theft
Though not immediately targeting phone scammers, the following has to do with securing your mobile against identity theft. This would go a long way in securing you against identity theft, should ever phone call scammers get so far as an attempt at infiltrating your online accounts. Let’s get really proactive, with the following:
Check periodically that all your software and apps are updated
App and software updates frequently include security improvements. Guaranteeing that these are up to date translates to having the most current protective measures installed on said programmes.
Ascertain that you download only from well-known firms
Keep your eyes peeled for free versions of well-regarded apps. Cheaper copies of famous brands carry with themselves the possibility of malware.
Desist from jailbreaking your phone without excellent reason
Unless you have a persuasive, urgent reason that calls for jailbreaking your phone – don’t do it. Jailbreaking is simply the phone being unlocked so that you may run unauthorised software on it. Unlocking your phone in this manner opens the border to malware.
Lock that SIM card!
Shield your mobile by locking it with the aid of a pin number that’s actually secret. Take care the latter remains uncompromised.
See if your phone has a kill switch
You could go for a smartphone that permits its remote shutting down with a kill switch. This is super-nifty when the phone’s stolen or is simply lost. You may yourself have to set this up. Chin up! You’d be doing yourself a big favour.
The findable phone
Some phones allow you to be able to locate them, in case they have been misplaced remotely. Very convenient indeed, not only against identity theft but also against theft in general.
Have important files’ copies with yourself
Smartphone stored sensitive info ought to be backed up. This could be another digital device or even as a printout. Remember to secure these copies, too.
Use secure connections only
When online on your smartphone, ascertain that you are always on a secure connection. A secure wireless network or a good VPN are options. Do not keep Bluetooth turned on after you have made use of it. Also, be wary while using public wifi.
Security settings check
In case you are accessing or transmitting private data, ascertain that the sites you are on have SSL encryption installed. For example, secure Sockets Layer is a given if the address bar has ‘https’.
Be wary of malicious links
Be wary always of links sent to you via suspicious, especially unsolicited emails.
These are only some of the measures ensuring that your financial information stays uncompromised.
Anti phone scam checklist: self-protection tips
- Keep eyes peeled for misspellings and poor grammar in messages;
- Steer clear of monetary gains promises for little or no effort;
- If apprised of account suspension or closing, call up your bank;
- Be in the loop always regarding social media account security settings privacy upgradations;
- Public wifi networks to be used only when absolutely necessary, more so with social media accounts;
- Change passwords at regular intervals;
- Steer clear of dubious-looking links always.
Putting paid to nuisance calls
While nuisance calls may or may not translate into scams, they invariably distract us from our daily work and make us less effective. As part of a regimen of vigilance hygiene, it behoves us to clear up the clutter that nuisance calls make. We block their entry into our space so that we may have more resources to grow and protect our assets.
The reduction of nuisance calls
There are a number of products that help you block undesirable calls. They are truly useful, despite the fact that you may have to pay for them. These could block specific call types – for instance, international calls or calls with numbers withheld. For example, certain products may allow the blocking of 10 undesirable numbers.
Speak to your phone services provider.
Shopping around for the best deal is a good strategy, given that such products are always chargeable;
The call blocker
These come as attachments. Some require that the caller give his name before the call is put thru to you. Ascertain that your Call Blocker will not block calls that you do wish to receive.
Telephone Preference Service Registration: it’s free!
The TPS or Telephone Preference Service permits you to opt-out of receiving unsolicited calls. The TPS website registers your phone number. The registration, free, comes into effect in 28 days.
The big feature here is that telemarketers simply cannot call a number registered with TPS. it’s explicitly illegal to do so. The ICO or Information Commissioner’s Office can take action on telemarketers who break this rule. Filing a complaint with ICO is therefore an option.
Leaving the Directory
Some businesses build thor ales lists thru directory services. If you go ex-Directory, these businesses might be unable to locate you.
Caller Display shows you the number offered by the person calling, so you can decide if you should answer or not. The number must not have been withheld, and your phone must have a display. However, spoofing or the manipulative use of other numbers may lead to displaying a number that is not the caller’s actual number at all. Here we are grazing the boundary of ‘phone scams’.
Last caller identification or 1471
A nuisance call having been received, the immediate dialling of 1471 can identify the last caller’s number (unless the said number is withheld). There are relevant regulators to whom such numbers may be reported. This is a free service.
Voicemail or 1571
A voicemail service permits you to screen specific calls. You can decide if you wish to return the call upon receipt of the message.
How to protect yourself from phone scams thus becomes a manageable problem. There are a number of measures that can be implemented to profit. There are affordable products that deliver to a great extent n the promise to shield you from phone cammers. A habit of vigilance is a given here. Be sure to go about implementing your anti phone scam strategy without hindering the ordinary business of your day to day life.