If you use the internet, you are probably well-aware that there are scammers out there trying to trick you into revealing personal data that can be used to steal your money or your identity.
What you might not be aware of is that similar scammers can infiltrate your life by another method: the telephone.
Telephone scamming isn’t anything new; it’s been going on for years. However, people paying special attention to online threats are making it easier for telephone scammers to slip in under the radar.
Whenever we go online, we look for the signs of unscrupulous websites and fake emails. We double-check each field before entering a credit card number, and we don’t respond to emails that look in any way fradulent.
However, many of us would probably not think twice about answering personal questions over the phone with a man claiming to be from the bank. All it takes is a little in — knowing your name and address, knowing that you associate with a particular business — for scammers to convince you that they are legit. They can get information about you in a variety of ways, from scouring online profiles to simply taking a guess. If you were to call ten random people and ask if they banked with a certain, popular bank, it is likely that at least some of them would. This is the same approach scammers take when they call and claim to have noticed a problem with your account, “and would you be so kind as to verify your birth date, mother’s maiden name and last four of your social security number?”
The same prevention methods we use online to keep from getting scammed need to apply to all aspects of our lives, from talking on the telephone to answering the front door.