Tag Archives: Phone Scams

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.