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Recognizing (and Avoiding) Phone Scams

Phone scams are increasingly prevalent and scammers are using more sophisticated methods to con their victims into action.

Recently, a Norvado customer received a phone call identified by caller ID as coming from Norvado, the call was however, a scammer promoting a zero interest credit card. This is an example of an Imposter Scam, or a scammer pretending to be someone you trust. Scammers may attempt to further convince you by using spoofing, or making any name or number show up on your caller ID. Even if it looks like Norvado, your bank, or a government agency calling, it could be a scammer calling from anywhere around the world.

How to Recognize a Phone Scam

The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) recommends using the following information to identify phone scams.

There is no prize

The caller might say you were “selected” for an offer or that you’ve won a lottery. But if you have to pay to get the prize, it’s not a prize.

You won’t be arrested

Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency. They might say you’ll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies won’t call and threaten you.

You don’t need to decide now

Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and get written information about it before asking you to commit. Take your time. Don’t get pressured into making a decision on the spot.

There’s never a good reason to send cash or pay with a gift card

Scammers will often ask you to pay in a way that makes it hard for you to get your money back — by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card or cash reload card, or using a money transfer app. Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer.

Government agencies aren’t calling to confirm your sensitive information

It’s never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if they say they’re with the Social Security Administration or IRS.

You shouldn’t be getting all those calls

If a company is selling something, it needs your written permission to call you with a robocall. And if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry, you shouldn’t get live sales calls from companies you haven’t done business with before. Those calls are illegal. If someone is already breaking the law calling you, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. At the very least, it’s a company you don’t want to do business with.

 

For additional information and examples of phone scams, please click here for the full article from the FTC as referenced above. 

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