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7 ways to Get Scammed on Your Phone

  1. Auto-Warranties. We have all certainly heard this one before, “This is your final notice. The warranty on your vehicle is about to expire…” More often than not it is a robo-call, which if you recall from “The Revision of Telemarketing “Robocalls” post many times they are contacting you with the auto-dialer illegally. Bring on the high pressure sales tactics.
  2. Prizes & Sweepstakes. Congratulations! Remember that drawing you didn’t enter? Well, you won. So send us shipping and handling and we will get it right to you! Send the money and you will never see the prize or hear from that company again.
  3. Lower Interest Rates. This one is usually a robo call too. At least it starts off that way. They you are directed to a live agent who coerces you into giving away your  credit card number, expiration date, name, address, and SSN if they can. This is a straight identity theft scam.
  4. Bogus Bank Alerts. They tell you that your card is being suspended. You give them all the information they beseech you to give to save your account. You’re penniless soon after.
  5. Advance Fee. In this one you get offered a sweet rate or deal on a personal loan or a credit card. You, of course, have to pay the processing fee or require some kind of personal info disclosure to guarantee the deal.
  6. Fat Finger Dial. I know the name is kind of screwy, but what it implies rings true. The scammer buys a number that charges you when you dial it by accident. So let’s say a person is trying to call the Do Not Call list run by the FTC at (888)382-1222, but hits one digit wrong. They get transferred to a number that charges you $5.49 + “administrative recovery fee,” for “a new national directory assistance service.”
  7. Caller Id Spoofing. This was originally the evolution of prank calling. Applications for smartphones and hardline hacks. The pretend to be a government authority, grandchild, or law firm and try to exploit this fraudulent position for financial gain. Hang up and get the real/official number. Never send immediate payment.