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What steps can I take to protect myself from telephone fraud?

Start protecting yourself from telephone fraud by learning to spot common scam techniques. For example, one tipoff is a caller offering something that seems too good to be true. A second sign is if the caller first asks you for money, or personal information, in order to take advantage of this “great” deal. Third, be suspect of anyone who puts pressures on you and wants to know your bank account, credit card or social security number. Ask them to send you information or just hang up.

Be alert to common types of fraud such as a guaranteed line of credit or credit card; a below market price on a popular item; an easy way to make money from home; a fantastic vacation bargain; or a “security” representative from your bank asking for your account information or card PIN code in order to “protect” you from fraud. Remember scammers may already have your payment information and just want you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a dedicated website that explains more types of phone fraud. If it is a charity or fundraising call, take time to research the organization’s credentials and history before giving. In many countries there are resources to help you identify legitimate charities such as the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance in the United States and Give with Confidence in the UK.

Report fraud to your local authorities, such as Action Fraud in the UK or the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

See also, SHOULD I BE AS CONCERNED ABOUT FRAUD ON THE TELEPHONE AS I AM WITH ONLINE FRAUD?

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