Your phone rings, it’s an Unknown Caller. You decide to answer because you’re expecting an important phone call. “Hello, this is Tom with the IRS. Is this the homeowner I’m speaking with?”. It happened so fast, you didn’t get a chance to think, and you said, “Yes”. So our first tip is to pause, and remember to not provide any information. Scammers are also known to record victims’ voices to use them in future scams.
Next thing you know, you’re hearing “We are calling in regards to an upaid tax bill of $10,000. Failure to pay this bill today will result in your immediate arrest”. Yikes! But remain skeptical and use common sense judgement when listening to common phone scam tactics like threats, prize offers, or impersonations.
Maybe the next day, you receive this voicemail. “Hello. Your health insurance benefits are about to be canceled. Call us immediately at 555-555-5555 to reinstate your coverage”. Make sure to be careful, and do your research before calling back any number.
Or you get the prize offer call. “Congratulations, you’ve won a free trip to the Bahamas! I just need your credit card number to complete the form”. But you’re ready for this one, and say, “Get a life and leave us alone! You’ll never trick me so give it a rest!”. While it might be gratifying to respond harshly, you’re better off simply hanging up. Scammers rarely give up, and your harsh words could motivate them to ramp up their harassment and tricks.
Another tip is to setup Robocall blocking on your phone. So remember stay calm, don’t give out any information, hang up if it’s an obvious scam, and avoid the temptation to respond harshly.