Avoiding Telephone Scams

phone iconEvery year, people fall victim to telephone scams. This is a huge problem that can cause issues for seniors, young people and middle-aged people who fall for a good story. However, with these five tips, one can avoid losing their money to a fraudulent company or person.

1.Internet search

When receiving a call from a charity or sweepstakes company,  do a Google search of the company and telephone number. This will likely uncover plenty of information about the organization and one can decide if it is legitimate or not. Most of the time, other people will post information about the company if they have either positive or negative news to report. If everything checks out, one can call the company and donate money or take part in the sweepstakes or prize offering.

2. Personal information

One must avoid handing out personal information over the phone or through the Internet. Personal information includes an individual’s social security number, bank account information or other pertinent details that would allow a criminal to do bad things with the information. Remember, until the money or prize is ready, a company should never ask for social security numbers or other tax information.

3. Do not pay any money

Often criminals will call up seniors or other unsuspecting people and tell them they won a lottery or other sweepstakes. The only catch is that the individual must send money via a bank wire transfer to pay for some costs. When this happens, one should report the company to the FTC and cut off any communication. When accepting a prize of any kind, the recipient should not have to send any money.

4. Do not call list

Though criminals do not follow laws, one should still try to avoid receiving any unsolicited calls. To do so, a resident should put his or her phone number on the national do not call registry. This will leave a person’s number unlisted which will make it difficult for a fake charity or scam organization to call them over the phone. Without a doubt, when getting to the root of the issue, one can prevent most problems from occurring in the first place as many criminals use public information and listed numbers to find victims.

5. Caller ID

When receiving a phone call from an unknown number, one should let it go to the answering machine or voice mail. This will allow a person to listen to the message and determine if it is legitimate or a scam call. Furthermore, with time, one will not make a rash decision or get bullied into donating money or given private information. With this, one can do an Internet search or ask the local police department for any information on the potential scam.

With these five easy to follow tips, one can prevent problems with criminals and people looking to do harm to unsuspecting seniors. Fortunately, with this proactive approach, one can sniff out the criminals without doing a lot of work.

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