Find out whether you are at risk of being targeted by telephone scammers
Being at the wrong end of a phone scam is no joke. Nowadays fraudsters use the telephone to lure out sensitive personal data and in turn, usually, steal money. They act in refined and methodical ways which are often hard to decipher. What ends up happening is people who are tricked had never even thought about being a potential target and thus naively falls into the trap. Here is a short guide on how to know whether you are a potential target for telephone scammers.
You have children
Even though raising and having children is amongst the if not the most beautiful thing in a persons’ life, parents and carers are a significant potential target. When kids’ safety is in question, parents always tend to make irrational decisions. Scammers take advantage of such sensitivity and call parents to pretend their kid was kidnapped or in an accident. Such scary things do happen. When parents pay a ransom, their kid returns home from basketball practice, school or a class field trip, parents understand that they fell victim to a disgusting scam. Beware of fraudsters trying to take advantage of your status and always try to clarify the situation at hand.
You use your credit card a lot
A credit card leaves a strong footprint. It so happens that sometimes scammers lurk behind the trash cans of hotels, stores, etc. and they steal thrown out printed transaction statements. From those statements, they can extract credit card and billing information which belongs to private people.
This data is used to manipulate you via the phone or straight up steal cash from your bank account, forge a credit card, etc.
You are from a rich country
Phone scammers from Ghana, Nigeria, India, Ukraine or Venezuela will rarely target a middle-class person from Bolivia, Albania or Papua New Guinea. Most of the scam victims are people from well-off countries like the US, UK, Germany, France, etc. Some phone fraud happens domestically, but the criminals are most often attracted by the big money abroad.
You invest a lot
Private investors can become the victim of telephone fraud. If they do not use reverse phone lookup online to clarify the details of an unknown caller, cash and asset-rich investors might lose a lot of funds through simple lack of awareness.
Investors make tons of deals and have a long trace of transactions. The registry of those can fall into the wrong hands and wrongdoers can use that to their advantage. By calling you and faking an uncompleted payment, offering a grandiose deal or pretending to be an accountant, they lure out financial information for their own benefit and financial gain. Be careful!
You are an elderly person
If you are over the age of 60, you have a 50% higher chance of being targeted by a telephone con. Older people are easier to manipulate in the eyes of the fraudster. They also are less resistant to stress making outrageous demand fulfilment like a walk in the park.
If you are a senior citizen over the age of 60, take notes on what you can do. Never give any sensitive private information over the phone. That is first and foremost. Never agree to hand over any cash, no matter what circumstances may surround the demand. Only agree to meet face to face in a very public location during the middle of the day. Finally, if the fraudster is imitating a car accident, injury or crime, always report to the police and contact your relatives if the fraudster imitates them. A short cool-down period of 30 minutes should be enough to get your head in the right place and look at the demands of the caller from a more rational perspective.