Tag Archives: Block Phone Numbers

Reporting Phone Scams: What To Do If You’ve Been Targeted

Credit Card Scammer

Scammers know how to make up phone numbers, which makes it hard to track them. They call victims from anywhere in the world, but make it appear like the phone number is local. Con artists can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to fake their caller ID and then use it to trick people into giving them money.

You can avoid many phone scams by using an iPhone number tracer app. If the caller has a real reason to call, he will leave a message. This method also works with telemarketers who ignore the National Do Not Call List.

Scam Types

Con artists create new scams every day. They will say anything to get you to give your personal information or money. The scams involve fake calls from Medicare, Social Security, the IRS, and more. You should check out any suspicious or unusual call before giving out your information or making any payments or donations. Callers asking for money for bills, taxes, or past due debts are usually fake. You should call the company or government organization directly before making any arrangements. Also, government agencies, such as the IRS or Social Security Administration almost never call. They do business through the mail.

Examples of Scams

The caller will try to trick you into agreeing, even if it means asking a simple question such as “Can You Hear Me?” The caller wants you to say “yes.” The question can be changed and used to show that you agreed to the scam. If you must give a positive answer, find another word to agree. This list shows some popular scams:

  • Fake Government Employee. Someone calls saying he is an employee or contract worker from the Social Security office, IRS, or other agency.
  • Kidnapped Relative. The caller asks for ransom money for the return of a kidnapped family member. The scam is also known as the “Grandparent Scam.”
  • Credit Card Services. The scammer says he is from your credit card company and asks for information about suspicious charges or offers lower rates or another service. The caller asks for your social security number or personal information.
  • Unpaid Utility Bills. Someone poses as a utility company worker and threatens to cut off the utility unless the bill is paid immediately.
  • Prizes/lottery winnings. The caller tells the target he has won a lottery or a free vacation.
  • Lower Your Interest Rates. The caller offers low credit card or loan interest rates.
  • Medical Coverage. This scam targets seniors most often. The caller scares the victim into thinking that his medical coverage is insufficient.
  • Tech Support. The caller claims to work for tech support at a major computer company. He reports a serious issue on your system. The “technician” offers to fix the problem for a fee.

Report the Scam

You should always call law enforcement if you get a call that you suspect is a scam. When you call to the non-emergency line, be sure to tell the police the time and date of the call, what the caller said, and any actions you may have taken, including recording the call. You can also screen or block calls to further protect  yourself.

Should You Monitor Your Child’s Phone?

Class on Internet Safety

Kids love phones. Parents are buying phones for their kids at a much earlier age than ever before. The kids may use the phones for watching videos or doing research for school, but chances are that the majority of their time is spent on social media. For that reason, parents have become the number one purchaser of apps that track their kids and provide parental controls.

The Statistics

Parents might think that their kids are well protected from predators and cyberbullies. In a perfect world, that would be true. Sadly, the statistics say otherwise.

In 2017, it was reported that 57% of tweens and 66% of teens were involved in some aspect of cyberbullying. Analysts gathered the data from more than 500 million messages via email, texting, and social media.

53% of tweens and 72% of teens were sent content containing nudity or messages of a sexual nature; 11% of tweens and 18% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation.

Do You Need an App?

There are many apps that can give parents control over the phone use of their kids. Apps are helpful in tracking the location of your child as well as viewing their online activity. Many phones have built in control systems, such as the ability to block phone numbers. Apps take it one step further, allowing you to trace unknown callers on your iPhone or Android or do a reverse search to identify a caller.

Parents can search through a kid’s phone for inappropriate messages, profiles and photos, but the effort is often wasted. Kids are tech savvy, usually more so than their parents, and can hide what they don’t want to be seen. Using an algorithm to find information is more efficient and effective.

Monitoring Kids’ Activity

Parents can restrict adult content on their kids’ phones. Other things that are monitored include cyberbullying, threats of violence, signs of depression, suicidal behavior, and online predators. The apps use a specific algorithm to scan social media networks, YouTube and YouTube Kids, email, text messages, and more.

Phones Aren’t the Only Problem

While kids use their cell phones most often, parents should also monitor other devices such as computers, laptops and tablets. Those who aren’t savvy about file storage should also be aware that messages and photos can be stored in the cloud in files on sites like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. The files can be accessed anywhere by anyone with an account.

Having a Discussion with Your Kids

Perhaps the hardest part about digitally monitoring your child is having the conversation about why it’s important. Kids may see it as being punished or as an invasion of privacy. They may resent you for controlling their online use. However, they must be made to understand that it is in their best interest and that it’s being done to keep them safe – online and offline. Someday, probably many years down the road, they will understand and thank you for watching over them.