What are tho most popular phone scams and how can you protect yourself?

With an ever evolving technology, phone’s become a bigger part of our lives by the day, helping us in many ways and facilitating a lot of daily thing. On the dark side, this development also increases the possibilities as well as the amount of phone scams continuously. Given that we use our devices on a daily basis, it is important to be aware of the most common tricks fraudsters use against us and how we can avoid them.

One-ring Scams

One of those typical mobile tricks is the so-calles one-ring scam. As the name suggests the call comes from an unknown number which only rings once. The scammers rely on you calling back once you see the missed call. Once you call back, you will be charged with high connection fees as well as high per-minute fees.

Another way of getting you to call back is that the scammer doesn’t leave a missed call but a voicemail, telling you that you have won a price and that you need to call back. Slightly different approach, same result.

Voice Phishing (Vishing)

Online banking is becoming more and more popular. In the US more than 70% of the population uses it. Fraudsters take advantage of this development. Vishing is the phone version of Phishing and uses recorded messages to induce fear in the victim in order to gain access to their personal data. For example, a perpetrator may gain access to your phone number. Once you answer the phone, a recorded message will be played informing you that your bank account is compromised. In order to prevent any further damage you need to call a toll-free number to reset your security settings. When you call that number, you will hear another automated message asking you to type in your bank information and/ or personal details over your keyboard.

Text Scams

Those scams come in several different forms. It can either be that you receive a text message from an old friend, asking you to catch up or give them a call. Once you call the number, just like with one-ring scams, you will be charged an exorbitant amount of fees.

Another form of this form of fraud is that you get a text, for example, from your bank, informing you that there has been fraudulent action on your account. In order to take steps to protect your money you will have to visit a certain website. Once you click on their link, they will gain access to your phone and thereby to your information.

Ransomware Scams

This form of fraud is exactly what the name suggests. The scammer will “hold your phone ransom” until they receive a payment. They way it works is that while surfing the web on your cell phone, all of a sudden, your phone freezes and new screen appears. The message appearing will be very official looking, informing you that your device has been frozen due to violation of laws. In order to re-enable your phone again you will have to pay a fine into a debit account.

How to avoid falling victim to these phone scams

  • If you have a missed call or a voicemail from unknown number, don’t just call back, check the number online first. In case it is a fraudster, make sure to block the number. If you have fallen for the fraud, contact your carrier and let them know and check your bill.
  • Before calling any number from an authority that messaged you, call the authority’s actual service hotline first and double-check with them.
  • Don’t click on any link you have received, always verify information like that with the authority that supposedly contacted you.
  • Be careful with what you download on your phone and only download apps from your phone’s respective app store. When using public Wi-Fi, avoid accessing sensitive information like your bank account or important personal accounts.