Recently there have been an influx in the number of phone scammers that are on the prowl for victims. With people focusing on cyber dangers because of news coverage they might assume that people aren’t expecting the danger to come from their phones. People claiming to want to increase the warranty of your car, or pretending to be a government official, or pretending to be a bank employee.
Being safe offline is a lot like being safe online. Don’t trust just anyone with your info and be skeptical of who people say they are if you don’t know for sure who are. If someone calls you claiming to be a government employee or bank official and needing your info, you should proceed with caution.
Make sure to ask them their department and cross reference the phone number they are calling you with the one on an official website. It’s also a safe bet to avoid giving out any personal information unless you’ve confirmed the identity of the other person. Consumers have lost over 450 million dollars due to phone scams since 2014.
No government agency is going to call you out of the blue. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or social security and they start asking for your information without having sent you physical mail, it’s a scam. The first point of contact will always be physical mail, then you might get a call if it can’t be resolved through the mail.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Getting a call that you won a prize that you never signed up for is a big red flag. So is them asking for your personal information in order to confirm your identity and give you your prize.
The main things to remember about keeping your information safe are:
- Don’t email your personal information to people
Don’t text your personal information to people
Don’t trust anyone claiming to be your bank or a government employee
Don’t click on unexpected links you receive
Don’t enter your information on websites without an SSL certificate
If it seems fishy then hang up/don’t open the email and contact them through a verified avenue like their official website
On top of these measures make sure that your devices are up to date on their software, enable firewall, and install an antivirus for extra protection. Also make sure that you are using strong passwords for all your accounts and have multifactor authentication enabled.