Showing posts with label Phone Scams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phone Scams. Show all posts

Be Aware of Wrong Number Texts Scams

Have you ever received a text message from a number you don’t recognize? It might start with something like, “Hey, are we still meeting for coffee later?” or “Sorry, I think I texted the wrong number.” If you respond, the scammer will likely try to keep the conversation going and eventually ask for personal information or money.

This is called a “wrong number” text scam. Scammers use this tactic to trick people into thinking they’re talking to someone they know, which makes them more likely to be scammed.

How the Scam Works

The scammer will send a text message to a random number. The message will be something that is likely to get a response, such as a question about a meeting or an apology for texting the wrong number.

Once the victim responds, the scammer will start a conversation. They will try to build rapport with the victim and make them feel comfortable. In a lot of cases these conversations are started with a Chat Bot until the hook gets set. They may also ask for personal information, such as your name, address, or phone number.

Eventually, the scammer will ask for money. They may say that they need help with a medical emergency, or they may claim to be a government official who needs the victim’s payment to process a refund.

How to Avoid the Scam

There are a few things you can do to avoid falling victim to a wrong number text scam:

  • Don’t respond to texts from unknown numbers.  Just delete the text.  If you do respond, be very careful about what information you share.
  • Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number, to someone you don’t know.
  • Be suspicious of any requests for money. If someone asks you for money, even if they say they’re a government official, hang up and contact the agency directly to verify.

What Happens If I Text Back a Scammer?

If you text back a scammer, you’re giving them confirmation that your number is active. This means that they’re more likely to keep texting you or even sell your number to other scammers.

In addition, if you give the scammer any personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft or other crimes.

How to Protect Yourself

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from wrong number text scams:

  • Use a spam filter. This will help to block unwanted texts from reaching your phone.
  • Don’t share your phone number online. This will help to prevent scammers from getting your number in the first place.
  • Be careful about what information you share on social media. Scammers can use this information to target you with scams.
  • Be suspicious of any texts that seem too good to be true. If a text message promises you a lot of money or a free prize, it’s probably a scam.

What is a Phone Scam?

A phone scam is a fraudulent attempt to obtain money or personal information from a victim over the phone. Scammers often use intimidation, pressure, or deception to trick victims into giving up their personal information or sending money.

There are many different types of phone scams, but some of the most common include:

  • Imposter scams: Scammers pretend to be someone you trust, such as a government official, a law enforcement officer, or a representative from a well-known company. They may use a fake name or number to appear legitimate.
  • Tech support scams: Scammers claim that there is a problem with your computer or phone and that they can fix it for you. They will then ask for your personal information or credit card number to pay for the “repair.”
  • Sweepstakes and lottery scams: Scammers claim that you have won a prize, such as a car or a vacation. They will then ask you to pay a fee to claim your prize.
  • Debt collection scams: Scammers claim that you owe money to a company or government agency. They will then demand payment, often in the form of a gift card or wire transfer.

How to Spot a Phone Scam

There are a few things you can do to spot a phone scam:

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls. If you receive a call from someone you don’t know, be cautious. Don’t give out any personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof caller ID to make it look like they’re calling from a legitimate number.
  • Be suspicious of offers that sound too good to be true. If someone is offering you a free vacation or a large sum of money, it’s probably a scam.
  • Ask questions. If you’re not sure if a call is legitimate, ask the caller questions about their identity and the purpose of their call.
  • Hang up if you’re suspicious. If you’re at all suspicious about a call, hang up and don’t call back.

Beware of Name Spoofing on Your Phone’s Caller ID

Caller ID spoofing is a growing problem, and it’s important to be aware of it so you can protect yourself from scams. Spoofing is when someone intentionally falsifies the caller ID information that appears on your phone. This means that the number you see on your caller ID screen may not be the actual number of the person who is calling you.

Scammers often use spoofing to trick people into answering their calls. They may spoof a number that looks like it’s from a government agency, a bank, or a well-known company. Once you answer the call, they may try to convince you to give them your personal information or to make a payment.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from caller ID spoofing:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer the call. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.
  • Be suspicious of calls that seem urgent. If someone calls you and tells you that you need to take action right away, be suspicious. Scammers often use this tactic to pressure people into giving them their personal information or making a payment.
  • Check the caller ID information carefully. If the number looks like it’s from a government agency or a well-known company, take a few minutes to verify the number. You can do this by looking up the number on the company’s website or by calling the company directly.
  • Don’t give out your personal information over the phone. If someone calls you and asks for your personal information, don’t give it to them. Hang up the call and call the company directly to verify the request.

If you think you’ve been the victim of caller ID spoofing, you can report it to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You can also file a complaint with the company whose number was spoofed.

By being aware of caller ID spoofing and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a scam.

Here are some additional tips to help you avoid caller ID spoofing:

  • Use a call blocking service. There are a number of call blocking services available that can help to filter out unwanted calls, including those that are spoofed.
  • Be careful about what information you share on social media. Scammers can use information that you share on social media to spoof your caller ID.
  • Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect your phone from spoofing attacks.

By following these tips, you can help to keep your phone safe from caller ID spoofing.

See Scam and Fraud Protection for 2023 for more information and make sure to Sign Up for our Scam Prevention Newsletter.

What is a Google Voice Verification Code Scam

Google Voice is a popular online phone service that allows users to make and receive calls and texts from a web browser or mobile device. However, there is a scam that involves Google Voice verification codes that can be used to steal your personal information.

How the scam works

The scam typically starts when you are selling something online. A potential buyer will contact you and seem interested in your item. They may ask you to send them a verification code that Google Voice has sent to your phone. The scammer will then use this code to create a Google Voice account in your name.

Once the scammer has created the account, they can use it to make calls and send texts pretending to be you. They can also use it to access your other online accounts, such as your bank account or email account.

How to avoid the scam

There are a few things you can do to avoid this scam:

  • Never give out your Google Voice verification code to anyone you don’t know. Google employees will never ask for this code.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who asks you to send them a verification code.
  • If you think you have been a victim of this scam, you should report it to Google and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also contact your bank or credit card company to report any fraudulent activity.

Tips for staying safe

Here are some tips for staying safe from Google Voice verification code scams:

  • Be careful about who you give your personal information to. Only provide your contact information to people you trust.
  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited emails or text messages. If you receive an email or text message from someone you don’t know, don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
  • Be aware of the latest scams. Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to steal your personal information. Stay informed about the latest scams so you can spot them and avoid them.

Report a Debt Collector That’s Threatening You

 Quick tips to help you avoid scams and avoid fraud.

Are you being harassed and threatened by a debt collector?  Maybe even a bank or other financial institution.  You should as them to stop calling you and tell them you’ll be reporting them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Add their number to your blocked call list. 

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