Your phone number might be in the hands of scammers. These days, mobile phones are among our most prized possessions, and hackers are well aware of this fact. We make use of them to access critical information and carry it around with us constantly. Because of the centralization of our financial, email, and other private information on our mobile devices, identity theft and fraud have become more common.
Scammers, unsurprisingly, are poised to take advantage of it. One apparently unimportant part of our identities that is at risk is our phone numbers. The repercussions of falling for a phone hoax may have far-reaching effects, including but not limited to phishing and identity theft. Today, we’ll discuss the methods used by fraudsters, how they get your personal information, and, most importantly, what you can do to protect yourself.
Common Mobile Scams
Scammers target mobile users in an attempt to trick them into downloading malicious software or divulging sensitive information. The following are some popular mobile scams that scammers apply:
“Vishing,” short for “voice phishing,” refers to phone scams that contact you by call or voicemail and try to trick you into giving up personal information.
Scammers that use vishing attempt to trick you into believing they are a legitimate business or individual. Criminals might appear as representatives of legitimate businesses or government agencies to trick you into handing over sensitive information or financial resources.
They play on your sense of urgency in the hopes of coaxing you into giving in to their demands. Scammers know this, so they’ll try to get their money or information out of you during the phone conversation itself, rather than requiring any kind of follow-up action (after they’ve already hung up).
SMS Phishing Scams
It is the practice of using text messages to deceive you into providing personal information. These messages may include links to malicious software whether malware or spyware if you click on them.
However, criminals may sometimes use deception to trick you into doing something else. These additional measures may include but are not limited to, dialing a premium rate phone number, luring you into a membership, or threatening you into disclosing sensitive information.
One Ring Scam
Calls from an unidentified number that only rings once are often attempts to trick you into giving out personal information. This con is effective because the con artists are counting on their victims’ lack of critical thinking skills to make them fall for the bait. The catch is that you’ll be charged money every time you make a call, all for the scammer’s benefit. These calls often originate from a foreign country, which is why you’re charged more for receiving them. A voicemail may be left on occasion to encourage a response. If a call or message comes in from a number you don’t know or anticipate, you should treat it with caution.
How to Recognize a Phone Scam
Any form of scam is an attempt to gain your trust by appealing to your emotions. Some possible emotional causes of fraud are as follows:
- Faster decision-making may be possible when faced with urgency or danger. If you’re afraid about the repercussions of inaction, stop for a second and give it some serious thought. Instead of increasing the pressure, a legitimate business would gladly answer your inquiries and provide you with the means to independently check their claims. Debts, tax refunds, and federal suspicions of criminal activity are all examples of problems that need immediate attention.
- A plea for assistance from someone in need may evoke empathy and make it difficult to say no. A red flag may be present if you experience shame for resisting or doubting that this is a genuine reason. Con artists may pose as members of a charity or other good cause, and they may attempt to convince you of their legitimacy by referencing a current natural catastrophe or other topical problem.
- Alluring offers of great benefits in return for your cooperation are a common tactic used by con artists. You should exercise caution with regard to such offers since, in most cases, they are fraudulent. Being the unexpected winner of a prize or being given a steep discount on a vacation package are two such examples.
Each con is designed to trick you into doing something. Some of the most typical scam demands are as follows:
- Make a monetary payment, often in the form of cash or a gift card. It’s not easy to request a refund for these formats.
- Provide identifying data such as a bank account, Social Security number, or login details.
- Go to the linked website to access your account or learn more.
- Get anything from the internet, like an anti-virus program.
- Be very cautious if you get a phone call with any of these indicators. You should usually either not take any action right away or postpone it until you’ve had a chance to investigate the allegation.
How to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams?
If you want to keep yourself safe, you need to be very vigilant about how you use your phone. There are steps you can do to keep your private life more secure, even if you should be aware of the danger of fraud. The following are some suggestions to keep in mind if you wish to safeguard yourself against mobile scam.
Invest in VPN
If you must use a public Wi-Fi connection, invest in a VPN. Data sent through a VPN is encrypted to prevent eavesdropping. Using these services’ privacy features will mask your IP address and other identifiable data. If you need a solution to safeguard your online browsing at home or on the move, give Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection a try.
Create Strong Passwords
Never, ever use the same password again. Use a completely unique string of characters for each password. Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Replace some of the letters in a passphrase with symbols or numbers to make it harder to crack.
Generate PINs with a Longer Length
If you can manage it, use a 6-digit PIN for your lock screen instead of the default 4-digit PIN. Using a PIN with six digits makes it more difficult for a hacker to use brute force to get access to your phone or online accounts. Never use dates or anything else personally identifiable, since hackers will first try information easily accessible on the internet. Avoid using simple combinations of digits like “0000” or “1234”
Keep All Of Your Different Passwords In A Safe Place
You can use a tool like LastPass, Google Password Manager, or Keeper Enterprise Password Management to keep track of all of your unique passwords and PINs. It is extremely dangerous to write down passwords or store them in your phone’s notes. Secure your sensitive information from prying eyes by using a password manager. To get entry to the safe, you need to know one master password. Make this one of your most secure and difficult passwords to prevent access by hackers. Digital trading is highly common these days and is prone to scams. Hackers take advantage of that and steal useful financial and personal information from traders. That’s why they should use AI bots like News Spy to trade their digital assets with safety and high security.
Use a Call-Blocking App
These programs can identify and stop fraudulent calls like robocalls before they reach your phone. These services aren’t foolproof and may mistakenly identify a non-spam call as spam. You may choose whether or not to take up calls from unknown numbers thanks to certain applications.
Never Utilize A Service Unless It Has An Official App
If you use a third-party app for a service like banking or social networking, they might potentially get unauthorized access to your account. The risk of falling victim to a phishing scam increases when you provide your login details to an unknown party. Instead of downloading a unified program that tries to do everything, use the official app for each service you use.
Be Wary Of Your Phone Bill
Unexpected costs are a blatant sign of fraud. Quick action is required to notify and challenge any fees found on a bill. Even if it’s not a fraud, you’ll be protecting your bank account from any more unwanted services or charges.
Protect your smartphone with a security app. Protecting your mobile device and the information stored on it is the easiest approach to safeguard your online privacy. In addition, the family plan includes custom parental controls. For the sake of safeguarding oneself, one’s spouse, and one’s offspring.