Have you received a text message indicating that your package has not been delivered or is on its way? Does that message contain a link? Don’t click! It is a fraudulent message, whose sole purpose is to steal your data or install a malicious app on your phone.
We will show you the top most common phone scams and how to deal with them.
- SMS with weird links:
“Hello. Please confirm your delivery credentials today, otherwise, your package will be returned: HTTP://…”
By chance, have you received a text message telling you that your package could not be delivered to your address? In recent months, a multitude of users has been receiving fraudulent text messages aimed at stealing highly valuable personal information, such as a bank card number, or installing a malicious application to gain control of a device.
To prevent such scams, you should apply some options that may vary depending on the operating system of your phone (Android or iOS). It is best to access the message in question without clicking on its link and look for the “Details”, “Info” or “Information” option. Then block the number if necessary.
Before blocking such phone numbers, we recommend verifying the identity of an unknown texter on the PhoneHistory website. It offers free reverse text and phone lookup service. Thus, you can obtain the complete information of any business and personal phone number to find out who it is.
Sometimes these SMS may contain your first or full name, even so, be wary. If you are waiting for a package, you’d rather go to the purchase application or website and track it from your account on the official website. As we have been saying, at the moment, such scam campaigns are very active due to the strong increase in internet purchases.
- Missed calls from unknown numbers:
One of the most common phone scams is dropped calls with little-known prefixes, usually from foreign countries like the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Albania, or Bosnia. The prefixes used can be +355, +225, +223, +234, and +387 or similar.
Why are you receiving missed calls? The answer is very simple: the purpose of these missed calls is for you to return them and be extra charged for them.
How to avoid these fraudulent calls? Well, never and for no reason call back if you receive a missed call from an unknown number with such a prefix. The best thing is that you block them from your phone.
You can also request your telephone operator to block them directly. We recommend that you do not download a secondary application for blocking, especially if the developer is unknown.
- Gas and electricity discount scam:
It is common for telephone, gas or electricity companies to contact us to make us a better offer in contracting these services.
Those same companies, sometimes, exceed the limits of consent and change your company without you having requested it or given your consent for the change. In reality, it is an abusive and even fraudulent practice on the part of some telephone, electricity, or gas companies.
This new modality has been dubbed slamming and its sole objective is to make you change your telephone, electricity, or gas contract to another company without your full understanding.
This type of campaign is triggered at specific moments, such as the one we experience at the beginning of the year, with the cold snap.
If when picking up your cell phone you hear a voice suggesting you save more on your electricity bill or another service, hang up. If you remain online, do not communicate your bank or personal details over the phone.
- Virtual kidnapping:
Back in 2016, a new type of telephone scam emerged, and it is still active today – virtual kidnapping. In this type of scam, the scammer calls you and tells you that they have kidnapped a family member. They will use violent language and the supposed voices of the kidnapped family member. The scammer will demand a sum of money from you to release that family member.
Be warned of this type of telephone scam and remember how to avoid being the victim of a virtual kidnapping:
- Pay attention to calls from an unknown number.
- Listen and let the interlocutor speak. If it seems strange to you, hang up the call.
- Never provide personal information, such as your location or home address. Do not make monetary payments to the extortionist.
- Check that the allegedly kidnapped family member/friend is okay.
- Report the fraud to the authorities and/or police as early as possible.
5. The ‘false’ covid-19 vaccine at home:
Unfortunately, one of the phone scams that have arisen from the pandemic has to do with the covid-19 vaccine.
In these fraudulent calls, the scammer pretends to be a health worker to find out who lives at an address and in what state. Its victims are usually elderly people living alone. When you receive such scam calls, just hang up the phone and do not answer or call them back.
How to avoid being a victim of a phone scam?
In conclusion, to avoid being a victim of a fraudulent call, we advise you to take note of the following tips:
- Verify the identity of the interlocutor
If it is someone who claims to know you or who is posing as a bank agent or other service, ask them to identify themselves with their full name and ID number. In general, criminals will hang up or provide inaccurate data when a user is harsh and suspicious.
- Never provide personal data
If someone calls you asking for bank codes or even your computer password, be wary. For security reasons, no bank will request your codes or passwords by phone, SMS, or email.
- Do not click on links from unknown emails or numbers
Have you received an email saying that your bank account is blocked? Be careful! If you see a strange link in an email, text message, or even in direct messages from a social network like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, do not click.