Telephone scams: how could they steal your money?

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Incidents of cybercrimes and telephone scams are so frequent nowadays that the next call or message you are going to receive could be from a scammer trying to steal your money.

In 2019 telephone scams accounted for almost half of the calls and it is possible that these figures will increase even more in 2020.

These are five different ways you could be deceived and cheated by phone scammers.

1. Call: Your credit card has been blocked

You could receive phone calls from scammers, posing as bank personnel, who may share with you your credit card number and the expiration date to prove their fake identity. The scammers could tell you that your bank has to block your card due to some discrepancies on your account. Subsequently, they may offer you the possibility to fix the issue. To do so, they will need access to your account and they may ask you for your PIN number. Note: Never share your PIN with anyone, since by doing so you will grant them access to your bank account, allowing them to withdraw money.

2. Beware of public places

Scammers can take advantage of everyday tasks that seem harmless, such as checking the balance of our bank account while charging our mobile phone in a public USB port, to exploit personal information for their benefit. To keep our data safe and prevent it from being used by potential scammers, it is essential to understand the threats we face. One of the weaknesses of mobile phones comes from the charging port. Think twice before plugging your phone into a public USB port for fast charging in a cafe or at the airport. Every time we use a mobile port we can be vulnerable to viruses or malware. The hackers can modify public ports to install malicious software or even directly take the information from our phone. To avoid this risk, always use your USB cable that can be plugged into a standard outlet or use an external battery.

3. Call: Technical support, we are here to help you

With the development of scammer information technology cells, it is also possible for scammers to impersonate technical support services of technology companies with the intention of helping us get rid of a computer virus that we were not aware of. They will ask us to download software or share our computer screen with them by requesting remote control access from their PC. By doing so, they are likely to download all our personal information. After stealing our data, they could blackmail us asking for a certain amount of money to return our data.

4. They could steal your phone number

Scammers are stealing phone numbers by calling our mobile service provider pretending to be us and confirming certain key information. Then they transfer the phone number to their device. You may not find out until you try to make a call and see that the SIM card has been deactivated. Taking into account that telephone numbers are also commonly used as security keys, computer intruders can access other accounts once they have access to the phone account. Don’t skimp on spending time on security questions and answers. It will be worth it.

5. Message scams

Scammers can send you a text message that seems to be coming from a friend, asking you to catch up. Once you answer the text message or call the number, you may be charged a high rate for each call and the charges will increase per second. Another common text scam is the one where the message shows that we have received a text message from our bank. The message will warn us that there has been fraudulent activity in the account and will ask us to visit a website or call a number. Scammers can get access to our personal information and bank account information if we proceed with any of the aforementioned actions. To avoid falling for this scam, be careful of the text messages to which you respond.

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