Dealing With Telephone Scams
Whether you’ve been targeted through emails or pyramid schemes, scams are as big a nuisance and headache as they always have been. In 2012 alone, scams nationwide cost the UK industry an estimated £38bn per year.
Considering the spearheads of scams are numerous, it’s easy to understand how one could easily make even the most intelligent of us victims to its schemes.
Though such scams are numerous, they can be stopped. One of the more common methods of scamming the average consumer is via telephone call, to gain access to your personal information through a personal computer.
Any entity that gains access to personal information may use it to a large number of immoral ends which can include identity theft, thievery and the sale of personal information. Luckily, something like a Pro Call Blocker would be a big help to stop these calls dead in their tracks.
How Can You Recognise When You Are Being Scammed?
Most telemarketing scams will try several simple tactics to gain your trust before they try to gain access to your personal information.
These attempts can be recognised with the following scenarios:
- Being tempted with something that can make your life better.
Typically, this approach offers you a service that may not exist or if it does, it would be sub-par. One common example is being offered a computer repair for free, even though no maintenance would be needed in the first place.
- Being tempted with something for nothing or little in return, like an easy way of making money.
This approach can often overwhelm a person’s common sense and make them much more susceptible to being successfully baited by a scam.
One example would be a person that has been contacted by a Nigerian prince who is offering you millions in currency for a small return investment of ‘good faith’.
- Asking you to call a premium rate number (090 numbers) for a prize or cash sum.
This approach, though similar to the previous scam, is often more successful as it appears more professional by having a phone number, but really just about anyone can get one of these.
An example would be a person being told they have won a local or foreign lottery. They would then be referred to the phone number to process (and pay for) the claim.
- Asking for bank details over the phone.
This approach is easy to fall for as banking details are often needed to prove identity and secure goods and services in general.
An example of this would be being asked for banking details in order to set up a standing order when the reality is allowing the caller to make a charge to your account.
- Caller is being persuasive and/or forceful.
This is a standard approach of many sales calls as it gives the person on the other end less of a chance to say no.
A key example would be having no chance to talk back or the caller not taking ‘no’ for an answer and thus keeping the person on the phone.
Though these are only a few examples, Ofcom has detailed information for those who have been victims of telemarketing scams.
How Can You Prevent Yourself From Being Scammed?
A little common sense and automatic disbelief is indeed, very helpful when a person is being targeted by scammers. With this in mind, it is still possible to be caught off guard. Thus, this would make it more likely for a scammer to be successful. To prevent this one could…
Refuse to give personal information.
If you refuse to give any information away, then you have already made a large step to avoiding a scam.
Join the Telephone Preference Service.
This service adds your phone number to a ‘do-not-call’ list that marketing companies legally cannot call.
Contact your service provider.
Most service providers offer additional services that can bar unwanted calls for a nominal fee.
Buy a Pro Call Blocker.
Third party devices offer a quick solution to unwanted calls. Block the calling number at the press of a button. The product’s flexibility allows a person the exact amount of control necessary to deal with problem calls.
In conclusion, scammers will always try to find a way to con an honest person out of their money as everyone has a weakness that can be exploited by those who have no qualms about manipulation.
Remember that prevention is better than a cure, but there are always helpful options available to any person that may need a little extra help.