The More Advanced Technology Gets The More Advanced Scammers Get
In this day and age, you have to be on your guard as technology has made it easier not just for your local scammer to try and trick you but also for scammers who are on the other side of the planet to try and trick you. Everything from robocalls about your car warranty, to threats that you will be arrested if you don’t confirm some details in your life, users have to deal with these attackers regularly. Today’s post will cover just some of the things to look out for, to try and help you NOT get taken in a scam. How to Avoid a Scam
Signs That It’s a Scam
- Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know.
Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of a government agency. They might use a real name, like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a business you know, like a utility company, a tech company, or even a charity asking for donations.
They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID or send official-looking, fake emails. So even if it looks real IT ISNT.
On email, we hope that junk mail filers catch things, but that isn’t always the case. If an email gets thru, and you aren’t tech-savvy, you may just think, so I need to renew this, “It must be something on my pc” and give the scammer your info. These fake messages aren’t actually trying to sell you something, they are trying to get you to put as much of your info (Name, Address, Credit Card Number) into a fake site. Once you do, they can take over your account within minutes.
- Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or a PRIZE.
They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. Or that there’s a virus on your computer. Some scammers say there’s a problem with one of your accounts and that you need to verify some information. Others will lie and say you won money in a lottery or sweepstakes but have to pay a fee to get it.
The scam can come in the form of a phone call, or a pop up on your computer.
- Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story. They might threaten to arrest you, sue you, take away your driver’s or business license, or deport you. They might say your computer is about to be corrupted.
This is a recording claiming to be from the Social Security Administration of the United States. The recording says that if you don’t call back the number in the recording that an arrest warrant could be issued. That is just NOT true.
- Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.
They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back. Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Scam
- Block unwanted calls and text messages.
Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages. When it comes to your cell phone, check with your phone carrier to see what service or software they offer to block these fake calls and messages. Virtually all cell phone providers offer some form of service, and it’s usually free.
- Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect.
Legitimate organizations won’t call, email or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
- Resist the pressure to act immediately.
Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
- Know how scammers tell you to pay.
Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Report Scams to the Local Or National Government Agency Assigned To Investigate In Your Country
If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, find out what local or national agency in your country or municipality handles tracking, investigating, and going after scammers. In the USA, that would be the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Stop and talk to someone you trust.
Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam. If you wish to send us info on something you suspect is a tech scam, Tech Geek and More will be happy to look into it and confirm it for you. You can reach us via email (TechGeekandmore @ gmail.com), FB Page, Twitter, or the form on our site.
How to Avoid a Scam