Beware of Phone Scammers



Beware of Phone Scammers



Now that it's virtually free to make calls from around the world, there are more phone scammers than ever before.


Yesterday, I talked a bit about "ScareWare", the fake messages you see on your computer screen warning you that you have a computer problem such as a virus. As a followup, I'd like to draw attention to a similar problem, that doesn't involve your computer, but it can be just as dangerous, phone scammers.

Unlike telemarketers, who are just pests trying to make a sale, today's phone scammers are truly evil people trying to steal as much from you as they can, because they know they will never get caught.

While there are literally hundreds of scams out there, the three most common are:

1. Fake IRS or Law Enforcement Agent.


This one is one of the most widespread scams running right now. The caller claims to be with the IRS, and they claim you owe money. They not only ask you to pay them, but they are also trying to steal your identity by asking you for your Social Security number. For some reason, a lot of people fall for this one, even though the caller often asks you to use a pre-paid / gift card, which is untraceable.

2. Fake Microsoft / Google or Tech company


In this scam, the caller will claim to be a technician that has detected that your computer is severely infected and they need to help you get rid of it. After asking for (stealing) your credit card number, they will direct you to a fake website to complete the transaction and download their "Anti-Virus", which is actually a virus that allows them to control your computer from overseas to send spam.

3. Fake bank or credit card company.


These scammers want you to believe that they are with your bank or credit card company, and that they need to confirm your most recent transactions. Once they ask you to confirm your card number and social security number, they will read off a bunch of fake amounts and ask you to confirm they are correct. Naturally, you will tell them that none of them are legitimate and they will tell you they denied them and just wanted to be sure. At this point they have not only stolen your REAL card number, but you've actually given them your Social Security Number.

Some of these callers will mention a specific bank by name, while others will use a generic company name like "Credit Card Fraud Alert", but the essence is the same.

The best defense against these types of callers is to simply hang up.


Don't bother arguing, or talking.

1. The IRS will NEVER call you out of the blue, nor will they ask for your Social Security Number on the phone.

2. Microsoft and other tech companies will NEVER call ANYONE out of the blue telling you they've detected a virus. They don't have your number, and they definitely don't call ANYONE to fix their computers.

3. Although banks and credit card companies WILL call from time to time to confirm suspicious transactions, you should STILL HANG UP. Just tell the caller that you never give out information to callers, so you will call the number on the back of your credit card or bank statement. If the call was legitimate, they will thank you and when you call the number on the back of your card, they will resolve the problem without the risk of giving out your personal information.

, Founder

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