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Page Last Modified: Sep 28, 2018
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Cell phones are ubiquitous this day and age, everyone has one, and while they are a remarkable tool the fact that they’re everywhere offers scammers a large pool of potential victims to select from. Cell phone scams often come in the form of phishing, pretending to be someone or something you know in order to social engineer you into handing over your personal information.
Below are tricks cell phone scammers use and how to avoid them:
- Urgency and Pressure: When scammers get you on the phone they can create a high stress atmosphere in order to pressure you into making quick ill-informed decisions. If this happens, be suspicious and ask questions without giving your information away, usually the ruse falls apart fairly quickly and you can determine it’s a scam and hang up.
- Phishing: Like previously mentioned, scammers like to pretend to be someone or something you know in order to steal valuable information or even your money when they charge you for their “service.” If someone calls on the behalf of Microsoft Support, the IRS, or any large organization like that, and you are unsure of the legitimacy of the call, simply hang up. Only make contact to organizations via their official contact means.
- Caller ID Spoofing: Scammers have the ability to spoof their caller ID and make it appear as if they are from area codes or trusted companies that they are not. This is another form of phishing and the best way to deal with attackers like these is to hang up and contact the organization or person through their official contact means.
- Remote Access: Sometimes scammers can trick you as far as trying to take control of your computer. If they get this far, be suspicious when someone over the phone asks you to download software or certain remote access programs, they are not legitimate.
Among various other means, an easy way for scammers to get your phone number is harvesting your information from the internet. Be careful when giving your phone number to companies online through forms, they may trick you into agreeing to your information being sold to third party vendors.
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