Scam Numbers to Call: How to Protect Yourself
It happens that you have signed up for a gym or a doctor’s appointment, and now the phone is bursting with calls from unknown people. This means that the number has landed with phone scammers or advertising spammers, and now they are hunting for your money.
What tricks do criminals use? How to calculate them to be able to protect yourself? What are the scam numbers to call?
In the article, we answer these questions in detail.
Learn more here about how to make an anonymous and secure phone call.
How criminals extort personal data and money
Now it is not easy to hide information about ourselves: we use numerous services to which we link bank cards, leave phone numbers, home and office address online when ordering delivery, and enter passport data in online applications. Technological progress simplifies life but increases vulnerability.
Fraudsters who have gained access to personal data often do not have enough of this information to get hold of the victim’s money, since banks use multi-level protection. Then they call people on the phone, trying to catch them by surprise, take advantage of weaknesses and even scare them. There are more and more types of fraud. Let’s talk about those that occur most often.
Messages about malware infection of the phone
While using an internet browser, a message about the detection of malicious software appears on the screen, and the user is required to take urgent measures — download an antivirus. In reality, this is a program that will embed a spy code into the phone, giving criminals full access to the device. It’s easy to protect yourself — just install a high-quality and effective antivirus from a trusted developer on your smartphone.
Malicious links are sent in text messages when clicking on which a spyware program is downloaded to the phone. There may also be another option — an SMS message asking you to call back to a paid number, subscribe to a service, etc.
There is a call from an unfamiliar number within 1–2 seconds. The phone fraudster wants the victim to call him back and pay money for a callback. If a simple dial-up did not work, the criminal can throw off an encouraging voice message. You need to be careful about calls and messages from unknown numbers.
Fraud by phone calls
This type of fraud is also called “vishing.” The attacker calls on the phone and tries to encourage the victim to take some action. He can pretend to be an employee of a real company to gain trust. The most important thing for a criminal is to achieve actions during a telephone conversation.
For example, today, people often encounter calls allegedly from a mobile operator. The criminal is trying to find out the password from the personal account to set up SMS forwarding in it and get a bank confirmation code. The result is that money will be debited from the victim’s card.
The key rule here is never to tell anyone the password from the personal account on the website of your telecom operator.
The best anonymous calling apps are here.
Study the list of actions that will help protect you from scammers and their frauds. Each of them is designed to make hacking and obtaining data difficult and in vain:
- Install a PIN code on the SIM card, so that if the phone is lost or stolen, it will be more difficult to use your number.
- Prohibit possible actions with a power of attorney. This is done at the nearest mobile operator’s office. Scammers will not be able to duplicate the SIM card with a fake power of attorney.
- Install an antivirus on your smartphone. A special program will protect your device from Trojans, stillers, and other malware.
- Update the software on your phone as needed. Security updates will help protect against attacks and close vulnerable areas.
- Set up the confirmation of banking transactions via push notifications. This option is more reliable than the SMS protocol, which is subject to regular attacks.
- To refuse the “Mobile Transfer” service so that fraudsters do not withdraw funds from the SIM card when compromising it.
- Configure your smartphone so that it does not display texts and notifications on the locked screen.
- Enable alerts about bank card transactions to quickly identify fraudulent write-offs.
- When paying for purchases online, enter the card details in a pop-up window. Fraudsters masterfully copy the payment pages, and copies are already sent to their servers.
- Remove the phone numbers of the mobile operator and the banks where you are served from the Spam folder so that you receive security alerts on time.
- Select a bank through whose call center it is impossible to change the linked phone number. This is one of the ways fraudsters get personal data.
- Use an option or an application that blocks unwanted calls.
- 1. In case of any suspicious call, immediately put down the phone and do not pick it up until the situation clears up. It is better to immediately call back to the official number of the company.
- 2. Before paying online, check the domain carefully so as not to become a victim of phishing.
- 3. It is extremely careful to allow programs on your smartphone to access SMS and receive calls, since among them there may be spyware that steals data.
- 4. Issue an eSIM, if possible, on your phone, since this option is safer and more convenient than a standard SIM card.
The most trusted eSIM services to choose are here.
- 5. Never rush when clicking on links where personal data is needed. After the transition, you need to make sure again that the site is real. Criminals who create phishing resources steal personal information, get answers to security questions, and “infect” your devices.
- 6. Even if some file was sent by friends, you need to be very careful when opening it. The most common way to “infect” a computer or smartphone is a file launched by the victim herself. Viruses can be in files of different formats, and they are carefully encrypted to deceive the antivirus.
- 7. Use the services of reliable and large mobile operators. Through little-known virtual operators, attackers engaged in social engineering receive personal data.
- 8. Remember that security and law enforcement officers never make phone calls themselves.
- 9. Be wary if the caller utters phrases about the personal account, linking the card to the phone, and so on.
- 10. Don’t say “yes” when answering questions.
- 11. Carefully monitor the speech and behavior of the interlocutor to catch suspicious moments.
- 12. Before performing any actions, put aside the panic and check everything carefully.
If you receive an SMS about debits from an account that you did not make, it is important to make sure that it came from a real bank number, and also check that the balance has changed. After that, it is required to block the card until the criminals have withdrawn all funds.
The next step is to call the bank and report the write-offs that were not carried out by you. It is very important to act quickly. Do not rush to write a statement to the police under the dictation of a bank employee. It is important to understand that money stolen without the knowledge of the account holder is funds stolen from the bank. This means that the injured party is a financial institution, and its client receives the status of a witness. The bank undertakes to return the funds to the client’s card.
The key rule that allows you to protect yourself and your loved ones from scammers who trade on the phone or in any other way is constant vigilance.