Even though North Americans are making fewer phone calls today, experts say telephone scams are still a major problem! So, let’s review the most common phone scams, along with tips to avoid them:
- First: Charity scams. They’re especially common after natural disasters, when you’re more likely to be in a giving mood. In most cases, the caller makes an appeal to your generosity, and invites you to make a donation with your credit card. Then, they turn around and use your information to commit fraud! Experts say you can avoid most charity scams by following one simple rule: Never make a donation to a charity you haven’t given to before over the phone. Because just like telemarketers, a charity can’t call you unless you’ve given prior consent. If you’re unsure, hang up and go to a legitimate Website to donate.
- Another common phone scam: Law and order scams. The gist is, someone from a collection agency calls to say there’s a warrant out for your arrest – because of an unpaid speeding ticket, for example. And the only way to avoid going to jail is pay a fine right now! Experts say the key thing to remember is that debt collectors do not have the power to arrest you. So, hang up.
- Finally, there’s a new twist to phone scams we want to tell you about. In some scams, the caller invites you to hang up and dial a separate toll-free number – either to activate an account, or to get more information. Why? Because when you initiate the call, experts say you’re more likely to think you’re calling a legitimate business! But today, there’s a new online database where you can confirm if the number you’re calling is real or fake. Just go to 800Notes.com.