How can you stop phone crooks in their tracks

Phone scams are on the rise. In 2021, more Americans than ever were at the mercy of phone-related scams. By learning more about the tricks used by crooks, you can protect yourself and those you love. Apply these tips to keep your phone safe and your information safe.

Phone scams are evolving

A total of 59.4 million Americans lost money to phone scams in 2021, based on the findings of a Truecaller report on spam and scams. That number is 22% higher than in 2020, in which 56 million Americans were scammed.

In other words, one in three Americans has lost money to a phone scam. Some 19% of these people say they have been scammed more than once.

Just why are more Americans falling for phone scams? Scammers are getting smarter. In a study of scam practices, First Orion found that 75% of all scam victims were called by people who already had their personal information.

Before making the call, the crooks choose to exploit their victim’s details, investing more effort in their scams. This is an approach to quality rather than quantity, but the investment is well worth it.

People often become victims for the following reasons:

  • They are more likely to answer a call if the number looks familiar or contains the area code.
  • Scammers will engage in business spoofing – making it look like a well-known company is calling someone with a good deal or sale.
  • Individuals will stay online with a scammer if they use personal information, such as a home address or social security number, to make the call appear legitimate.

Another way that phone scams evolve is that they include text messaging. After all, people open 96% of all text messages – so even if you never answer an unfamiliar phone call, you could still be in danger.

These SMS may contain links promising gifts or prizes. Sometimes they come in the form of alerts issued by your bank account or a delivery notice from UPS or Amazon.

If you don’t recognize the phone number, it’s best not to click on any text link. If you have any questions about your bank account or plans, it’s always a good idea to go straight to the source.

How to protect your phone from fraudulent callers

Image: Unsplash

It is estimated that $ 29.8 billion has been lost due to phone scams. The need to protect your phone is more crucial than ever. Use these tactics to protect your technology today.

Ignore the call

When you are unsure of a phone call and don’t recognize the number, it’s more than okay to ignore it and let it go to voicemail. It is a wise policy to practice with spam calls on the rise. If it’s a vital call, someone will leave a voicemail message and you can answer it later.

Report unwanted calls

If you receive an unwanted call, be sure to block the number immediately. You can do this by manually blocking the number in your phone’s settings. If the spammer leaves a voicemail message, consider reporting it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can fill out a nature of spam call form on their website. Call reporting helps them catch spammers.

Do not give out your number

This point may seem obvious, but it is not a good idea to give your number more than necessary. Try not to include your phone number on social media accounts or personal websites unless you feel it is necessary. Scammers can quickly get their hands on this personal information and use it against you.

Stop spam calls on iPhone

Take the first step to stop crooks by silencing unknown calls in your iPhone settings. With the release of iOS 13, all iPhone users got access to a fantastic feature that will calm calls from numbers filtered as “unknown” so you won’t be disturbed during work, dinner or time spent. with family. Go to Settings, then click on Phone and tap Silence unknown callers.

If you want to be more aggressive against spam calls, you can download a spam blocker app to your phone as an additional preventive measure. Once the app is installed, go back to Settings and Phone. Click Call blocking and identification. Check the apps you want to allow to filter and detect spam calls.

Stop spam calls on Android

In general, Android phones work the same to combat robocalls. In the Phone app, tap the three dots and go to Settings. Depending on your phone, you will have several options from this point on. One option might be “Block harassing calls”, another might be “Block calls” – choose a message that looks as close as possible to this one.

You can also choose to ignore unknown calls and block the number after they arrive. Another option is to use spam blocker apps on your phone.

Protect your phone and protect your information

With the increase in spam calls in America and the evolving nature of the calls themselves, it is wise to be vigilant to protect yourself. If in doubt, ignore the call, block the number, and report it to the FTC.

Do you have any ideas on this? Let us know below in the comments or refer the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Editor’s Note: April is a writer for ReHack Magazine with a passion for cybersecurity, AI, and all things tech. Offline, you’ll find her roaming the neighborhood on her motorbike or gorging on the latest real crime documentary.

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