We might be living in the digital age. However, scammers continue to use the phone as a key tool in their arsenals. A call was the scammer's entry point in 36% of the 1.8 million fraud complaints the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received in 2023 that included contact method information.
Once they have you on the phone, phone scammers use phoney threats, aggressive sales tactics, and false promises to coax out information that will allow them to steal your money or identity.
It's simple to see why fraudsters prefer dial-up. According to survey findings from March 2023, the creator of the call-security app Truecaller calculated that in the previous 12 months, nearly 59 million Americans lost money as a result of phone scams. The median loss in scams that begin with a call is $1200, which is higher than for any other method of contact, according to FTC data.
Scammers use a variety of techniques, including bank scams, online fraud, and fraud involving auto warranties. Even phoney phone calls with area codes are made in an effort to get you to pick up by making you believe you know the caller. So, how can you safeguard your finances and yourself? Knowing how to spot a con artist is essential because knowledge is power.
Any kind of scam will typically try to gain your trust by appealing to your emotions. The following are some examples of emotional drivers of scams:
Threats or a sense of urgency may increase your willingness to move quickly. If you're concerned that waiting will have negative effects on you, pause and give it some careful thought.
Empathy results from a request to assist someone in need, which makes it more difficult for you to spot the fraud. A warning sign might be if you feel bad for objecting or doubting that this is a worthwhile cause rather than a con.
Grand promises motivate you to comply with the scammer's demands in order to receive a reward. The majority of the time, these offers are scams, so you should exercise caution.
You are encouraged to comply with a request with every scam. Be on the lookout for these scams early on and put a stop to them to protect yourself from a possible fraud. Remain calm and vigilant.