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Phone scams

• What are phone scams?

We can say phone scams are communication frauds, where thousands and millions of people lose out their hard earned money by means of phone connected to internet. We basically rely on internet and on these smart phones for our daily work from paying bills to maintain one’s bank account and financial information. Scammers just grab the chance to cheat people out of money. They use various tactics to earn your trust by making small talks and asking you about your family. They slowly make you believe claiming to work for a company you trust and try to gather information about your credit card or debit card.

Looking up on the report, we can hardly believe that scamming cases have increased up to four times since 2015 as based on registered complaints by customers. It is a high jump in this field posing threat to innocent people. In further written content, we will discuss about what the signs of scams are and how they hook us up. We will also make discussion on preventive steps about handling such cheats and scammers.

• What are the signs of scam and how they reach you in most dangerous ways?

Scammers reach you with their cunning intentions. Those who operate from phone don’t provide you time to judge upon their thoughts. They bring your attention towards the interesting deals like; you have won a lottery and claim to make transfer into account, you can invest at low risk and earn a higher return than anywhere else, get free bonus on buying a product, make up your mind for deal as time is running out, all handling and shipping charges will be deducted from your credit card, you have won these three or five valuable prizes so claim it by entering your address or phone number or credit card details.

These above are the most recent statements made by scammers on fake prizes, products or services. They reach you on phone or either by mail, text or ads so that you call them for further details and they get your personal information finally gaining access to your accounts. Here’s how some of these crooks use your phone number to hack your information and target you.

• Use of virus embedded fake MMS message: This technology combines SMS with phishing, a ploy to coax confidential information out of your phone. In this if you make a respond by texting back all your confidential information gets stolen as the virus gain access to Windows, Android or IOS corrupting all the files.
• Spoofing attacks: Spoofing attacks take the advantage of TCP/IP protocol suites of not recognizing the source or destination of a fake message to gather the information of customer or client. Email spoofing is the most common known spoof and consists of additional threats like Trojans or other viruses further causing damage to files and triggering unexpected activities. Other spoofing attacks include caller ID and uniform resource locator (URL) spoof attacks.
• Ransom scams: In these scams generally the phone gets locked out due to virus being implanted in it by means of message or email and further ransom or money is paid in return to unlock it in the form of Bit coins. Sometimes even after making payment the phone remains locked losing all the information on phone.
• Hacking LAN (Local Area Network) server: We are here talking about access to one’s all LAN connections with the use of phone number by ARP spoofing. In this the attack is positioned on Ethernet wireless network looking at the data frames on a LAN.
• Stalking and harassing apps: Cyber stalking apps can be easily and secretly installed on phone to track down owner’s personal conversation, online banking activities and minute-to-minute movements. It is a threat to one’s privacy and personal life. Access to social media portal can further add a point of picture and information misuse even addressing family and friends on owner’s behalf crossing all limits.

Some curiosity cons:

We being unaware never recognize or think of why they are calling us? They plan out to target or concentrate on certain groups of people especially old people are the most soft targets because they are assumed to be living alone, or may be having a nest egg. Fraud has no limits or boundaries to gender, race, age, income, education or ethnic background; it is just for the sake of money. Even after ignoring various unrecognised calls they call you by the use of software with some variations as follows;

• Making a single call: They make you repeated calls that end with a single ring. It adds to mistake when you call back on the displayed number especially with number costing high per-minute phone charges for countries like Caribbean. They place you on hold and on the other side make transfer with bills getting higher.
• Calling with area code :They make you believe that they are local callers with local business in the near by area and further these fake numbers are harder to track by law.
• Make call with your own number : You will be surprised to see your own number on your phone. Beware of it as it is a scam. When you respond they get in to the card blocking the whole set up.

Motive of phone scammers:

Phone scams are problematic, but they are getting worse as scammers are brazenly confident that it is nearly impossible to get caught. Who knew these crooks could be so innovative to fulfil their motives by;

• Attack on personal information and phone contacts: They can add social embarrassment to you by making contact with your family or friends either by text or messages and further ask for financial help from them. Ultimately, leaving you under debt.
• Cloning a phone: Scammers make the exact replica of the original cell phone and as a result gain access to all your personal and financial information. In this the legitimate subscriber gets billed for all the calls made from the cloned phone. Millions of GSM or CDMA cell phone users are at high risk. They can also use such cloned phones for illegal activities especially for drug crime, human trafficking and posing threat to national security. In United States, Cellular Telecommunication Industry Association (CTIA) recently reported a fraud of $900 million due to cloning and unfortunately there is no way to detect such cloning.
• Calling from bank as fake worker: With the motive to steal your money, they make fake calls threatening you about your bank card blocking and asking for pin code to further unlock it.
• Psychic exploitation and scams: Psychic frauds are targeting those innocent people who almost feel the heartbreak and have lost the loved ones. They prey on people at their most weak and desperate and get rich doing it.

These above are the tricks used by these cheaters to become rich in an easy way promising wealth with prosperity.

How they make you a victim and grab your attention?

We all own a smart phone but mostly are unknown with the settings. These settings are attacked by the scammers to make a hold on information using tactics mentioned below;

• Charitable causes or donations: On the name of donation various requests for recent disaster relief are active as scam.
• Foreign lotteries: People get attracted towards the sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone and mail. This action is against laws.
• Free trial offers: Several companies offer products and start their business with free trial that ends up with various unauthorized debit from the customers account on monthly basis.
• Loans and credits: Game of scam start with offers of lowering your credit card interest rates with advanced fee loans and protection. They thus get hold on your financial information by this way and leave you with zero balance.
• Fake travel packages: You may be planning to travel on vacations but should look upon the packages offered because in this way you might be getting scammed costing a bundle of hidden cost instead of booking at low price tickets.
• Threatening with calls from fake government departments: Unexpected IRS calls uses fear tactics and threaten to send police if money doesn’t get paid immediately. If they don’t ask for money they may prey on your information. It’s really hard to figure out sometimes when they say they are calling from your bank and is nowadays a bigger issue of theft.
• Robocalls: It’s a pre-recorded call that tries to sell out various products but the main intention is to grab your information. Beware of such calls and instantly block them.

We are looking for solutions to protect us in the world full of scammers and identity thieves. And the only way is to be aware and be savvy with any information you give out over the phone, and you will be in better shape to avoid such a scam.

How to handle them?

Notice on the following mentioned points to be on safer side;

• Don’t choose a deal with wired money: : It is mostly impossible to go for reversing the payment in wired money thus one should be sure about the deal before making a transfer.
• Highly recommended to avoid unknown caller: Think twice before you pick up an unknown call and search online about the company before going for purchase of services sold by them on phone.
• Don’t share your financial/personal information: Banks never call you asking for your card number or ATM pin. Also they never advertise by text, messages, or phone calls. One should make sure and go for making a report about such calls.
• Never opt for sweepstakes: Fraud sweepstakes business is running on demand and it is also illegal. On phone, they ask you to pay money for taxes, custom duties or fees for collecting the won prize. Be sure that you never get involved in such deals.
• Stay behind in confirming your identity: Make sure who is calling you before you confirm your identity with them.
• Go for recording such calls: If you find any doubt about the person on phone to be a scammer inform him that you are recording the call and will report about it.

Get to higher authorities and report:

Government and various financial organizations are taking steps to create awareness among people. The last step is to report against them if you have any doubt of being scammed. Note down the following points while being in trouble.

• For any type of fraud or scam just make a contact with Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

• For Medicare fraud inform the centre and branch associated with it.

• Call on toll free number 1-800-366-4484 for filing complaint against IRS imposter tax collection scam.

• Econsumer.gov listens to the complaints regarding e-commerce.

• For internet frauds, portals are being provided by Internet Crime Complaint Centre for complaint.

If we look on the list of such scams it is too long affecting around 143 million people of world only in U.S. thus one should be active to contact the related departments of state regulators. Precaution is must while going for such deals because it costs a lot when hard earned money goes in vain making these scammers wealthy for no reason.

Conclusion:

Nobody is aware of one’s intention but precaution and active mind can better deal with these types of scams. In the end, we are prone to high risk while using these types of latest technologies that has proved of great advantage in our life such as smart phones, internet, computer but every coin has an another side which leads to direction of threat and theft. Phone scam is one such disadvantage of such technology. Hackers, scammers and fraudsters are the ones that make use of these loop holes to earn money preying innocent people with their tactics and cunning mind. Unfortunately, there is no such app or technique to keep you safe but the effective way to protect yourself is to obtain more information, hang up the call without taking action and verify it as soon as you can. Your urgent action may prove helpful to grab these crooks and save some innocent ones.