In 2020, Americans lost about $20 billion from phone scams, which is more than double the financial losses recorded in 2019. These figures indicate how damaging spam calls and texts can be, not only to your savings but also to your mental health. To help you combat these con artists, we will discuss how to tell if someone is spam calling you, how to stop scam calls, and how to report scam calls. Read on to help catch scam artists and protect your identity and hard-earned money.
How to Stop Scam Calls: Find Out if Someone is Scam Calling You
One major way to protect yourself from crooks is to spot if someone is scam calling you. But, how do you know if it’s a scam call? Check out the following signs:
Unsolicited Calls From a Company
If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from a specific company, then they’re most probably spam calling you. They will say that they work for a financial institution, government agency, or event tech companies like Microsoft. Except in special circumstances, these companies will not call you and ask for your personal and financial information, like Social Security Numbers or passwords.
Requests for Immediate Payments
Aside from soliciting your sensitive information, scam callers will urge you to pay immediately, or else your account will be compromised. They will say that there are issues with your credit card account and you have to pay to avoid penalties. Scam artists may also say you owe huge taxes that need to be settled immediately.
Others will commit grandparent scams, where they call you and impersonate your grandchild, saying they’re in jail or a difficult situation, needing financial help. If they want the money to be sent through wire transfer or gift cards, they must be scammers.
Scam callers may also choose to give you some fake good news. For instance, they’ll tell you that you’ve won the lottery. Some tricksters will offer you vacation deals at incredibly low rates. Others will advertise free product trials, low-risk investments with high returns, preapproved loans, and more. If these limited-time offers do not sound realistic, then you must be right.
Spam callers may sound like legitimate employees of a specific company at the onset of the call. However, if you start asking them questions to verify they’re the person they claim to be, they start becoming more aggressive. If they can’t answer your questions, or they’re trying to avoid them, then you must be talking to a scammer. They also usually use threats if you don’t follow what they want you to do. However, note that this is just a common tactic to scare and intimidate you.
How To Stop Scam Calls
While phone carriers and different agencies continue to exert efforts to address the issue, you must also know how to stop scam calls and protect yourself with these steps:
Sign Up for the Do-Not-Call List
To have an option whether to receive telemarketing calls, you can enroll your home or mobile phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry, managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While this step will not totally stop scam calls, it can help you detect them, given that most legitimate telemarketers will not contact numbers on the registry.
Utilize Call Blocking Apps
How to stop scam calls includes using call blocking services. Ask your phone service provider about applications that can help identify spam calls. Through a blacklist database, these applications will block numbers with high complaints from consumers. You can also ask your phone carrier about call blocking devices to be installed directly on your home phone or over the internet. Some carriers offer such services for free.
Verify the Caller
If you’ve answered a call from someone claiming to be from your bank or Social Security, end the call. Then, find the organization’s real number online. Manually type in the web address to make sure you don’t land on a fake website. Ask the institution if they called you, and verify if there are indeed problems with your account.
How to Stop Scam Calls: How To Report Scam Calls
If you’ve been a victim of scam calls, send a complaint to the FTC. Just visit the website and click the Report button. Provide crucial information, such as the name, phone number used, and time and date of the call. You’ll also be asked a few questions, such as the type of scam, who they’re pretending to be, and the amount you may have paid to the scammer. The more details you give, the more helpful your report will be to the FTC’s investigation.
Reject Scam Calls With Social Catfish
As scam calls remain prevalent, stay vigilant and learn how to spot and stop them using the tips we shared above. We at Social Catfish aim to help you catch these scammers. So, if you suspect someone’s trying to hide their identity, perform a reverse search with their name, phone number, image, or email address.