Criminals often resort to phone scams to cheat people out of their hard-earned money. Here are some phone scams to watch out for in 2023 and beyond and what you can do to stay safe.
The fake job offer
This scam has been common online for some time, but there are other ways in which it can find its way to you, including a phone call. It is a job with minimal requirements, but the pay is very attractive. Those who practice this scam usually target people who want to work from home or are looking for a new job.
They call to tell you you’ve been approved for a position and ask you to fill out routine paperwork. However, this involves giving your address, Social Security number, and bank information. Of course, the job and paperwork are fake, and criminals can use your details to access your bank and other accounts.
The warning signs of this scam:
· Poorly written job descriptions
· A job offer’s pay is too good to be true
· No company information
· Dodgy-looking company website
To protect yourself from this phone scam, don’t apply for any positions posted on marginal job sites.
The fake bank call
This will sound familiar, but it won’t go away in 2023. A call comes from your bank, and the caller informs you there’s a problem with your account or credit or debit card. The person usually sounds professional and alarms you that your money is at risk or tries to convince you that someone has copied your card.
They will ask for card and account details as well as your PIN. They might recommend you transfer the money to a ‘safe account.’
Banks never ask for these details over the phone. If the caller seems suspicious, call the bank to confirm the call came from them. If they deny it, perform a reverse phone lookup to check who the number you got the call from really belongs to.
A company will call to ask about an accident you’ve had and claim you have the right to be compensated. If you really had an accident, call your insurance provider on the number listed on your policy.
The criminal pretends to be from Microsoft or another reputable IT company’s helpdesk. They claim your system has a virus and tell you to download antivirus software. It is expensive and usually emerges to be spyware, which they will then use to access your personal information. A legitimate IT company will not call and make such a request.
Phone scammers use apps to imitate an official telephone number so it appears legitimate on caller ID. Then, you are led to believe the call is from a bank, a utility firm, or another legitimate organization.
If it seems suspicious, hang up and make a direct call to the organization. It’s best to call from a different number because the criminal might keep the phone line open. Then, the line might still be connected to them if you hang up.
If you can’t use another number, wait about 15 minutes after hanging up before you call.
How to protect yourself from phone scams in 2023
To protect yourself from phone scams, you need to comprehend how they work. Here are a few tips to help you further.
Don’t reply to spam texts
Don’t answer spam texts. This could have negative repercussions, such as confirming your phone number is active or triggering a malware installation.
Avoid calling any number in a dodgy-looking message and opening attachments or clicking on links in texts. Never give out credit card information or money to unverified or unknown senders.
Don’t overshare on social media
Social networks are amazing for getting information and connecting with people, but their security measures leave something to be desired. Don’t publish your phone number on social media. The good news is that most platforms’ privacy settings can provide an extra layer of security.
Check your account settings to see what details the public can view.
Install the latest antivirus software on your phone
Reliable antivirus software stops malware from embedding on your phone. It will remove or neutralize any malicious code it detects, like a virus or a worm. This can help protect your phone and data if you click on a malicious link by accident. Download software services and apps only from official vendor websites.