Common telephone scams and how they work

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It’s fair to say that some of us are far too trusting, as there are people in the world who do not have good intentions and are out to scam those of us who take them at their word. Telephone scams have become even more complicated and intelligent in recent years thanks to technology, but on the positive side, we are also talking about them more, so hopefully, people are learning about what to look out for. Here are some, unfortunately common, telephone scams to keep your eyes (and ears!) peeled for. 

If you ever find yourself wondering “whose number is this?” when a call pops up on your phone, don’t feel obliged to answer it. If it’s important they will call back, and in the meantime, you can check out to see what other people are saying about it. 

Call back scams

This is a really frustrating scam, as your phone will ring once, before cancelling and many of us would call the number back to see if it was something important. Annoyingly, not only is it not someone calling you for something exciting, you will get charged an extortionate amount of money! In a similar style, a lot of scammers will instead leave you a realistic-sounding voicemail that makes you think you’ve won a competition and asks you to call back for more information – again when you call back you’re going to be charged big time! 

Compensation chasers

One of the most well-known scams involves being called by an official-sounding person who seems to know that you’ve had an accident recently and kindly wants to help you make a claim. What actually happens is that they steal your information and either use it to make a claim on your behalf, pocketing the compensation money or by selling your information to a third party. If you’re not 100% sure who you’re talking to, never give someone your personal details. 

Text scams

Unfortunately, it’s not just calls that we have to be wary of, as scammers have some clever ways to steal your details, and/or money, through texts. It could be that they are pretending to be a friend of yours, asking you to call them, and when you do, you will be charged a premium. Another option is that they will pretend to be your bank, telling you that there has been fraudulent activity on your account and asking you to log into a link, or call a number. From here, you will be asked to fill in your details which they can use for nefarious reasons, so this is one to be aware of. 

As long as you use your common sense, check the identity of the person who is calling, and err on the side of caution, you should be able to avoid most telephone scams. It might involve having to be a little more cynical than you might naturally be, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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