Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a most emphatic yes! In many ways, modern technology is a blessing, providing us with countless ways to make our lives safer and more convenient and comfortable through things like home automation. On the other hand, it has also provided thieves with many new ways to commit fraudulent activity and steal your hard-earned money.
One of the most common of these methods is phone scams.
For example, according to a study done in the spring of 2021, an estimated 59 million Americans lost money through phone scams in the previous 12 months. Further, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that the average amount lost through phone scams was $1,200.
Technology has made the work of the scammers amazingly easy. For example, scammers using auto dialers can send out millions of robo calls each day. And complicating things even more, readily available electronic tools can trick your phone’s caller ID into displaying the name of a government agency or a well-known corporation to trick you into answering.
Once you’re on the line, the scammer may claim to be with an agency or corporation saying there’s some sort of financial problem that can be cleared up immediately if you’ll just provide your Social Security number, or possibly a credit card number.
Still another ruse of the scammers is to try to play on your good nature and generosity by claiming to represent some charitable organization that, in reality, doesn’t even exist. During the past two years, pandemic-related scams have been especially prevalent.
Steps to Protect Against Phone Scams
Here are a few ways you can protect yourself against the phone scammers out to get your money.
- Don’t answer unwanted calls from unknown phone numbers. If the call is really important, they’ll leave a message, and you can call back.
- Don’t return one-ring calls from numbers you don’t know. These calls could well be from scammers in a Caribbean or African country using area codes that look like U.S. area codes.
- In the case of a pre-recorded message, never follow instructions like, “Press 1.” The chances are the live person who answers is intent on stealing some of your most important private information.
- Never give personal or financial data on the phone to a person you don’t know. If they tell you they already have the information and are just trying to verify it, that’s a trick. Don’t fall for it!
- Never pay registration or shipping charges to get some prize or a “free product.” That’s another trick to get your financial information.
- Don’t make any payments with gift cards or prepaid debit cards. Scammers love these payment methods because they’re so hard to trace.
The First Name in Alarm Systems in Chicago
We hope this information will prevent you from falling for any phone scams, and when it comes to security systems for either home or business, we hope you’ll always think first of Alert Protective Services. To protect your home or commercial establishment, we offer a vast array of security solutions, including alarm systems, 24/7 alarm monitoring, security cameras, access control, and home automation, to name only a few.
For the do-it-yourselfers, we also offer a number of DIY security systems, pre-programmed by our security experts for easy installation.
Whatever you’re trying to protect, we’ll provide the security you need. So, contact Alert Protective Services today!