It is easy to see why many people believe that the vast majority of scams and fraud occur on-line these days. Given the length of time that spend on the internet in the present day, this is the smartest place for fraudsters to do their work. However, with such a focus on online fraud and internet theft, a lot of people are wising up to the tactics and strategies used by online fraudsters. Of course, while you focus on one thing, it is likely that your attention and focus on another matter will not be as strong as it should be. This is why phone scams are still taking place and many people find that they are not doing enough to safeguard themselves from this style of crime.
While there are many different ways in phone scam can take place, one of the most common tactics is for the fraudster to impersonate a person in authority. Some of the most common tricks include impersonating a police officer, acting as a member of a bank or even acting as a government official. If the fraudster is able to convince the person on the other end of the call that they are actually the person they claim to be, they will then ask for financial and/or personal information. This will provide the fraudster with access to the victim’s account and this enables them to commit fraud.
Fraud relies on obtaining data and information
The end result of online and phone fraud is the same but the methods of obtaining the personal and financial information is different. When you receive a phone call, it is easy to be caught off guard and you may assume that the person is who they say they are. This is why you need to be alert and there is nothing wrong with being cautious or even cynical when it comes to dealing with people. While a lot of people will convince you that cynicism and cautious are negative reactions, it is far better to have this approach and stay safe than be expansive or open and then lose a lot of money.
Fraudsters will often impersonate officials and people in authority
One common form of fraudulent activity comes with the fraudster impersonating a banking official and then requesting the customers PIN or account password. People need to be aware that their bank will never ask for this information over the phone and this is something that people should never offer when they didn’t initiate the call. If you make the call to your bank, you should have a greater level of confidence in who you are speaking to but this isn’t the case when someone calls you. This is why you should never provide your PIN or password details when someone has phoned you. This is the case if the person on the other end of the line claims to represent the bank, the police or even your mum, this is not information you should hand over.
Do not hand over:
- PIN codes
- Online banking codes
- Personal details
Another trick that has been used regularly is the fraudster convincing people that they need to contact their bank and provide information. There are many reasons why this is requested, such as having to transfer funds or to verify a security matter. As the person is hanging up and then phoning their bank, they may think that they are safe but phone lines can sometimes stay open for up to two minutes. This provides the fraudster with the opportunity to stay on the line. The fraudster can further enhance the charade by playing a dialling tone, which convinces the caller that they are connecting their bank. In reality, the victim is still dealing with the fraudster who will look to quickly take their personal and financial details and then bring the matter to a close as quickly as they possibly can.
If you think that you have been scammed it is vital that you contact your bank and the police as quickly as possible. The sooner you call your bank, the quicker you can have your cards stopped, which will hopefully minimise the risk and danger you may be at. Swift action can ensure that you don’t lose money, so there is genuinely no time to waste when it comes to avoiding being a victim of fraud.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.