Foolproof ways to avoid telephone scams

phone scam
Written by Nigel Simpkins

Every day we take care to protect ourselves from criminals and crime. Whether it’s covering your PIN when using an ATM, ensuring valuables aren’t visible in your car or carrying your phone in a zipped bag rather than in your back pocket, we all have little habits that make us feel safer when we’re out and about. Unfortunately, when it comes to telephone scams, not everyone is as vigilant as they should be.

Today, criminals are finding complex and intricate ways to build trust and rapport over the phone and worm their way into your personal data and bank details. It’s easy to think that you’ll spot these scams and recognise the signs of a scammer over the phone, it’s not always as black and white as we’d like to think. When a scam call lights up your phone, your first instinct is: what is this number? However, when calls from reputable brands such as SKY call, we’re happy to answer them. Unfortunately, numbers like this one from SKY can be spoofed or duplicated by criminals who’ll pretend to work for SKY to get your bank and personal details.

In this post, we’ll explore some foolproof ways you can avoid telephone scams. Read on to find out more.

Use A Call Blocking App

Today, you can download apps that are specifically designed to identify and block nuisance and potentially dangerous calls to your phone. Due to a growing database of suspicious numbers, your phone can automatically cancel and block numbers it doesn’t recognise or ones that have been previously categorised as scams, wanted telemarketing, silent calls and even fraudulent text messages. Of course, these apps aren’t perfect, but they may be beneficial for vulnerable people and the elderly.

Never Call Back a Number You Don’t Know

Some scams involve criminals ringing your phone once and then hanging up. Then, the curious victim will call back the unknown number – usually to an international and incredibly expensive rate. If you have missed calls from numbers you don’t recognise, never call them back. If the caller was legitimate, they’ll either leave a message, send your postal correspondence or call you back another time.

Say Nothing and Hang Up

One of the best ways you can keep yourself safe from telephone scams is by not interacting with those on the other end of the line and hanging up. Or not answering the phone to any number you don’t recognise. If you’re curious about the number that has called you, enter it into a search engine to see what comes up.

Tell Them You’ll Call Them Back

If you do speak to the person on the other end of the line, and they say they’re from your utility company, bank or streaming provider then stop the conversation, tell them you’ll call them back at your convenience. You can quickly discover the authenticity of the call by contacting your providers with the contact information you have from previous interactions.

Final Thoughts…

Keeping one step ahead of telephone scams is easy when you know how to handle them appropriately. Consider the steps above to protect your personal and financial information.