Recently, there has been a major spike in the amount of received phone calls and emails from scammers. Although, many people fall victim to these con artists each year, there are a number of ways to notice the very obvious difference between a real business call and a scam line or email.
Whether the notification comes by email or phone makes no difference, the same rules apply:
1. A real business call is rarely late in the evening, and is normally from a country code you recognize. For example: something that has all zero’s or is anonymous is probably a fake.
2. If it’s for a government grant, just for a heads up, the government does in fact give grants. But, you have to fit into certain criteria and goals for a business or education. Also, where grants are concerned, there is no prize drawing and the government randomly selects your name as a lucky winner. It just does not work that way. There are tons of things you have to go through first such as lots of legal red tape, paper work and waiting involved.
3. If they tell you to go to your local Western Union and “wire” money to them in order to complete the process or that they will give you a code for you to receive money. This is not real either.
4. A real business call is normally something you as an individual are very aware of. If your uncertain, ask questions. (What is your name, What company do you work for, these are things you as a customer are required to know and customer service is required to answer these questions.)
5. Along the same lines as #4, if you have a warranty on your personal vehicle, you are aware of it and what company you are with. If a caller says your warranty is about to expire, think about it for a minute, call the company your with and see if they have you on a calling list and why. If you purchased your vehicle As-is cash, without financing, then you already know you do not have a warranty anyway and that this call is a phony as well.
6. A real trained business man or woman, will not curse at you for not knowing the details and will be happy to provide them (that is in fact their job.) If the caller is cursing you and calling you names then this is also a scam line trying to use intimidation tactics.
7. Also, above all, a real business call from any kind of company (whether it be a debt collector or something you ordered or purchased. ) will not threaten you in any way. This is illegal and a total scam scare tactic. A debt collector has only one job: to collect a debt, or make arrangements if they can. They have neither the time, knowledge or inclination to tell you about any possible outcomes of a court dispute. They do not send “Authorities” to your home. That is the job of a court system not a debt collector. So this in itself lets you know that it is a scam and your best course of action is to inform them you know its false, hang up, take not of the number (if it showed up on your caller ID) and turn them in to the police.
8. This is the easiest way to spot a scam: the moment you get suspicious, tell the caller your having a problem with your phone and to call you back in about an hour (30 minutes works, too.) Hang up, giving them the impression that your battery id dying or dead. Call the number back from you phone. If you get a recording stating the number has been changed or disconnected it was definitely a scam line calling from a spoofing number. Again, save the number, turn it into the police.
9. Everyone has heard the term “street smart”; it is nothing more than common sense; never give personal information over the phone unless you are absolutely know for certain that you know the caller or the company. And even then be leery. Never, under any circumstances give your social security information over the phone.
10. Most of the best ways to know whether or not someone is trying to scam you is spot the obvious. If it sounds too good to be true, more than likely it is. If the person is hostile then its not real. If you supposedly won something that you did not sign up for, there’s more than likely nothing to be won. There is so much more to this but the main idea is obvious. If you did not do the paperwork for something, or purchase something, or owe a debt to an unknown collector, use common sense.
There are multiple ways to tell the difference in scam lines. Emails are pretty much the same only no one on one interaction over the phone. If you inadvertently gave personal, identifying information via email, screenshot everything, turn it in to the police, make it known publicly. It all comes down to the basics, keep your wits about you and once again; exercise common sense.