Phone scams are unfortunately fairly common, as they are cheap to commit and hard to trace. Scams can vary wildly in sophistication and method, and even the savviest of people can fall for one.
There are as many types of scam as there are scammers, but some of the most common scams are:
- Lottery scams, where the scammer claims you have won a prize, and they need a ‘small’ fee to transfer your winnings.
- Computer support scams, where the scammer claims that your computer is sending error reports, and they need remote access to help you fix this.
- Banking scams, where the scammer claims to represent you bank or financial institution, and needs to confirm some details.
- Money transfer requests, these can be variations on the famous ‘Nigerian’ scams, where the scammer claims to need your help to transfer a large amount of money out of a dangerous country.
- Romance scams, where the scammer targets members of dating sites and manipulates you to provide financial support.
- Investment scams, where the scammer claims to have a sure-fire way to make you money.
Scammers succeed when they can manipulate you, whether through your desire to help a stranger or your desire to make a quick buck.
As scammers are constantly adapting their methods, there is no hard and fast set of ways to avoid a scam, but there are some general tips you can use to protect yourself:
- You should always be wary of unsolicited calls, even if they claim to be from a reputable institution.
- If a claim seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
- If you receive a call from you bank or tech support provider, hang up and call your bank of provider directly.
- Never give out personal information unless you know who you’re talking to and you initiated the contact.
- If something seems fishy, hang up or delete the message.
By following these tips, and keeping your wits about you, you should be able to avoid scammers. Good luck!