Nobody believes a phone scam could dupe them. However, it is easy to underestimate the ability of scammers to deceive you with their words. All it takes is for them to sound authentic, natural, and professional, and it could result in you handing over your personal details.
To minimise the possibility of that happening, there are various steps you can take when someone phones and requests personal information.
Here are some tips to remember to protect yourself from phone scammers.
Ask callers to verify their identity.
Scammers will try and impersonate various entities. They can pretend to be from your bank or represent the government for just two examples. Yet you mustn’t simply take them for their word.
This is where you should ask callers to verify their identity. If they are hesitant to do so, that’s an immediate warning sign. That said, even if they seemingly answer the question positively, you should cross-verify the information they provide.
Ask for the company name and contact information.
Along with verifying their identity, you should ask them for both their company name and contact information. Although this typically won’t be a stumbling block for scammers, even just a small mistake with the business name is an instant red flag.
Again, don’t be scared to take the time to check the information they provide is legitimate. You could even use their supplied contact information to get in touch with the company, ensuring you are speaking to a real representative.
Do not provide personal information.
If there are any suggestions, even minor ones, you are speaking to a potential scammer, you mustn’t supply them with any personal information. Even if it’s only your name, address, or additional contact information, scammers can use this to succeed in their overall plans.
You should only provide personal information when you’re 100% confident you are speaking to a real person. If that confidence isn’t there, don’t be intimated into giving the caller your details.
Do not provide financial information.
This is along the same lines as the previous point. However, this one is even more vital. The last thing you want to do is pass your financial information over to a scammer. That is their end goal, after all, and they won’t delay in grabbing all the money out of your account.
Ultimately, it would be best if you always were cautious when providing financial information over the phone – even to legitimate sources.
Hang up if anything seems unusual.
Does something not seem quite right? Is the caller unwilling to offer up any requested information? In this situation, there is only one direction you can take: put the phone down.
Simply put, there is no point in continuing a conversation if you’re not confident the caller is who they say they are. If it’s important, they can always call back – and after your own research, you can be reassured whether they are legitimate or not.