After analyzing more than 50 billion calls in the last 18 months, First Orion has predicted that almost 50 percent calls in 2019 will be scam calls. The company calls it “scam call epidemic” and it seems to be growing at a rate faster than we can understand.
Out of all calls made in 2017, around 3.7 percent were fraud. The percent increased significantly to 29.2 percent in 2018 and is expected to rise to 44.6 percent in 2019. On the other hand, scam calls made from telephone numbers are on a decrease. It was 56 percent in 2017 and is expected to go down to 24.8 percent by 2019. One of the main reasons for the rapid change is because lesser and lesser people are using telephones and know that telephonic calls will probably be a scam.
Scam callers are using a new technique nowadays called neighborhood spoofing, in which the Caller ID informs you that a local number is calling you. Usually, the first six digits of the number are similar to your phone number or to someone you call often. It is what creates an illusion that you know the number and forces you to pick up the call.
Becoming more and more difficult
Senior vice president of First Orion, Gavin Macomber, said that people just don’t want to answer their phone anymore if it is an unknown number. It has become increasingly difficult to guess if the number is a scam or not. Macomber said that around 84 percent unknown calls are unanswered, which has become an enormous problem for companies that are legitimate and trying to connect with their customers.
According to a report by FTC, a customer can lose around $720 if they fall victim to a scam call, which is a massive blow to their finances. Apps like Truecaller and RoboKiller take off the uncertainty a little. Using these apps, you can block unwanted numbers and mark them as scams to alert others.
Owing to the discomfort experienced by its customers, T-mobile is now offering screening services that notify their users if the phone call is a fraud. Other carriers are working on it and will soon be launching their own screening service. Macomber hopes to get rid of these fraudulent calls so that consumers can pick up calls without worry and not merely hang up.
Beware of imposters
Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a the IRS or a charity. This isn’t the IRS scamming you, but rather someone impersonating the IRS. Expect this one to ramp up when tax season approaches.Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request, whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.
Don’t get into deal with wired money
Many scammers ask clients to wire money; it is impossible to reverse cash when using wired money given. If a seller keeps on insisting you to wire transfer for making payments, do not act unless you are sure about the authenticity of the deal.
Don’t reply to messages asking you for any financial information
No matter, whether you are receiving messages in the forms of text, email, advertisement, or phone call; you need not to share your financial or personal information with the unknown message senders. This is called ‘phishing’. Eventually, these crooks try to trick you for stealing sensitive information.
Check the legitimacy of any organization or company by doing a quick online search while on the phone
Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.
Be extremely cautious when dealing with anyone you’ve met online
Scammers use dating websites, Craigslist, social media, and many other sites to reach potential targets. They can quickly feel like a friend or even a romantic partner, but that is part of the con to get you to trust them.
Don’t always believe the caller ID
Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine
Don’t pay upfront for a promise
Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.
Consider how you pay
Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.