Tips for avoiding spam and scam calls

Did you know that over 500 scam calls are done every minute? Close to 20 billion USD per year are lured out from unsuspecting individuals and businesses. Most probable targets are senior citizens, freelancers and businesses. However, this does not mean that you are immune and protected from receiving a spam call, scam call or even a robocall. Always be on the lookout and try to keep yourself and your data safe. Here are a few tips for avoiding spam and scam calls.

Don’t pick up random international phone calls

Most scammers are based in very particular locations around the world. Even though they can mask their location, most of the scam and international spam calls come from Ukraine, Russia, India, Ghana and Nigeria.

Nevertheless, if your work has nothing to do with, for example - Mozambique, do not casually answer calls, originating from this country. If you do pick up, you might automatically fall into the scammer’s trap. They pre-arrange the call in such a way that picking up is a trap. Everyone who picks up loses a lot of money. The amount they steal will be included in your next months’ phone bill.

Never conclude serious business over the phone

If someone asks for sensitive data like logging in to your bank, your ID’s, social security numbers etc. – do not give it to them over the phone. Insist on a face-to-face meeting with their representative at their office.

Two-factor authentication

If this concerns your business, and clientele as well as customer service, make sure to implement two-factor authentication or something of that nature.

Criminals can use social engineering to befriend someone in your ranks, earn their trust and rob you without leaving a single trace. This is what happened to one large European bank back in the early 2000s. They lost close to 60 million USD because a telephone scammer befriended an employee, earned her trust and forced her into making a wire transfer. The money disappeared, and the scammer was never caught.

Implementation of additional security measures of doing business over the phone means a much safer environment for you and your business.

If your suspicions are raised, quickly hang up and reverse lookup the number

If, when speaking over the phone, you start to sense that things just do not add up and something suspicious is going on, do not confront the scammer or tell them anything more.

Abruptly hang up and go to a reverse phone lookup site like Whocallingyou to check the caller ID.

Enter their number and find out more about the caller. If it were a scammer, people likely would have left their comments about it. If, however, the call was actually legit, there is never a problem to call them back and continue from where you left off.

Keep your private numbers private

Make sure your personal phone number is not associated with your business or is published somewhere online. If your number is out there on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram scammers can continuously bombard you with fake and spam calls.

Be selective with people who have your personal number as every contact is potentially additional exposure to scammers.

Talk with your service providers

If you wish to have more knowledge or additional safety barriers in place, reach out to your service provider. They should recommend tricks, tips and techniques or very specific measures for trapping, tracking or unmasking scam calls.

Use third-party apps

Finally, there are third-party apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store, which can help trap and unmask callers. If a caller hides their phone number/caller ID, finding out who is hiding behind the call is relatively difficult. The third-party applications prevent such issues because this software looks into direct connection data and is able to decipher the phone number, which is trying to reach you.