Beware of internet scammers and robocalls. Crooks are at it again, trying to steal your personal information and money. So how do you know if a call is legitimate or a scam?
Crooks have gotten even more sophisticated so it’s hard to tell. The Better Business Bureau has some helpful info. It might take you a few extra minutes, but it’s worth it.
“The crooks don’t care. The bad guys don’t follow the rules,” says Nancy Crawford with the BBB.
Keep that in mind the next time you get a call from an unknown number.
“The best advice for avoiding those phone calls is just don’t answer,” says Crawford.
Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams operated by crooks who seem and sound like the real deal. Don’t get sucked in says Crawford. She says the BBB is seeing a lot of what’s called neighbor number spoofing.
“Which means not only the area code is yours, but the first three digits match the first three digits of your phone number, which makes people think oh this is someone close to me. They must live in my same town,” says Crawford.
Only they don’t. It’s most likely a scam. Crawford says don’t press any buttons or give them any information or money.
She says turn the tables instead. “Pick up the phone and call that phone number and see you if you can get through to a person at that company.”
“Look their number up and call them back,” says Sean Hayes with AT&T. “But just never give them any personal information like your social or major information or any money.”
AT&T, like several other phone carriers, now has a way to screen your calls.
“We also have a special AT&T scam app that works very well to recognize some of those calls as well,” says Hayes.
The calls have become so numerous the government is even trying to cut down on legitimate telemarketing calls.
Again, never verify personal information or give anyone money until you’ve done your research.